Facts and Children's Books about Ants

Facts about Ants

Teaching Points for an Ant Unit Study

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.


Ants are insects.

Time for Kids: Ants, by the editors of Time for Kids with Brenda Iasevoli


Like all insects, ants have three main body parts (a head, a thorax, and an abdomen), six legs, and a pair of antennae.

Ants have compound eyes and jaws called mandibles.

March with the Ants, by Karen Latchana Hedicker

Ants are social insects. They live in groups called colonies.

Each colony of ants has three types of ants: the queen ant, male ants, and worker ants.

Ant Cities, Written and Illustrated by Arthur Dorros

An ant's life cycle consists of four stages: an egg, a larvae, a pupa, and an adult ant.

The Life and Times of the Ant, by Charles Micucci


Ants are strong! A single ant can lift an object that is 50 times its own weight.

When an ant finds food, it goes back to the colony to tell the other ants. The ant leaves a scent trail along the way.

Those Amazing Ants, by Patricia Brennan Demuth

There are over 10,000 kinds of ants. Different types of ants build different kinds of homes and eat different kinds of foods.

Thinking about Ants, by Barbara Brenner


Ant Vocabulary

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


Other Resources for Learning about Ants

Supercoloring.com has a coloring page for the life cycle of 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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