In the South, we have lots (and lots!) of experience with ants! Even with all of the ants that live in our area, though, taking the time to study and learn more about ants just isn’t something I ever thought to do. Today I’m going to remedy that! We have a fun unit study to share with you, and it’s all about ants!
This 16-page unit study includes life cycle information, pages for learning the parts of an ant, Montessori 3-part cards, a page for drawing your own ant, and journal pages for recording information you look up and observe.
If you’d like to (carefully!) catch your own ants to use for the observation part of the journal, you may want to get a bug viewing jar like this one so you can view your ants three times larger without getting bitten! If you want even more magnification power, these magnifying glasses will allow you to view the little creatures ten times larger.
While you’re working on the pages showing the life cycle of an ant, add a fun hands-on activity (with no risk of being bitten!) with this Life Cycle of an Ant model set!
This will allow your children to see and touch each part of the life cycle of an ant from egg to larva to pupa to adult ant. (Something I don’t think I even want to do in real life unless I’m using a model!)
Or if you want your kiddos to try raising their own ants, this Miniature Gel Ant Farm gets good ratings! (Keep in mind you’ll need to use the coupon–which comes in the ant farm–to order your ants.)
How about some good websites and books to use as you research ants and update your journal pages? The Magic School Bus: Ants in Its Pants is perfect for your study of ants!
Pest World for Kids is a site where you and your children can find all kinds of information about several different kinds of ants and their diets, habitats, impact, and prevention.
National Geographic has some stunning photos of ants along with information about social behavior and unusual ant species.
On Ask a Biologist – Ant Colonies, your kids can learn about ants’ communication skills, how ants work together, and more!
There are so many great books about ants that it’s hard to choose just a few to recommend!
The Ant Family: Fun Facts You Need to Know is a cute picture book about ants that teaches about family, teamwork, and the ecological importance of ants. (This book does mention that ants have existed for “more than 100 million years,” so keep that in mind if this goes against your religious beliefs.)
The Life and Times of the Ant is another great book about ants! (This one also refers to millions of years.) This book includes information about anthills, ants’ bodies, kinds of ants, how ants help recycle the rain forest, and more!
Two Bad Ants is a fun book for children from preschool to about third grade. (Although I completely enjoyed it as an adult!) It’s about two ants that set out to find a wonderfully delicious substance to feed to the queen and end up getting in all kinds of trouble instead. If you still haven’t clicked the link to download your own All About Ants unit study, click here! And if you’d like to download our Ant Interactive Notebook to go along with it, you can do that too! It’s not as colorful and pretty as our All About Ants unit study, but it’s still a great resource to go along with your study of ants!