Spring is a great time to learn about insects, and the ant is one of the easiest insects to learn about. Ants are everywhere! Have your student look for ants and anthills as you walk or play outside. What are the ants that you see doing? How many ants might be in the anthill? Put a drop of honey or a piece of a cookie near an anthill. How long does it take an ant to find it? How long before other ants find it? How do you think ants let other ants know where to find the food?
Here's a list of facts about ants and suggestions for children's books about ants. I also have a printable reading log for books about ants, a reading log for books about insects, and links to other helpful resources for learning about ants.
Queen Ant - The female ant that lays eggs
Worker Ants - Wingless female ants that do not reproduce, but care for the nest and forage for food
Male Ants - Ants that mate with the queen ant
Thorax - The middle part of an insect's body
Abdomen - The back part of an insect's body
Mandibles - Jaws that insects use for holding things, catching and cutting food, and defending themselves.
Compound Eyes - Eyes that are made up of many tiny lenses
Larva - A grub that hatches from an egg
Pupa - The resting stage of an insect when the larva turns into an adult
Supercoloring.com has a coloring page for the life cycle of ants.
Ant Unit Study from To the Moon and Back - This site has unit study ideas including a craft for the life cycle of the ant, and links to books, printables, and other resources about ants.
Ant Anatomy Coloring Pages and Worksheets from Ask a Biologist. This site has several worksheets for learning about ants including an ant coloring page, an ant anatomy worksheet, an ant life cycle worksheet, and an ant heads matching activity.
Free Parts of an Insect Game from Gift of Curiosity.
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