Learning Experience 7: What Is an Ant?



For each student:

Insects Student Activity Book (Please see PDF)

For the class:

LIVE ANTS—these must be ordered by the teacher

Ant farm


Coffee stirrer/wire


Chart paper*

Felt-tip markers*

*provided by teacher


Read the background information in the Insects Teacher’s Manual. (Please see PDF) When you are ready for this Learning Experience, place an order for live ants. Allow 2-4 weeks for delivery. Notify the school office that you will be receiving live perishable materials and that you should be notified as soon as they arrive.

Evaluation Strategy:

Students will draw and explain their predictions of what the ants will do when they are placed in the farm. Students will make accurate observations of changes in the ant farm and contribute to a class diary on the ant farm.

Basic Skills Development:








ant farm


Objective: Students will make a prediction of how they think the ants will change the ant farm and contribute to daily diary entries of changes in the ant farm.

How do ants create a home in an ant farm?

Show students the ant farm with the sand included but no ants. Discuss the parts of the farm and ask students what they think will happen when the ants are placed in the farm. Ask students to draw a picture of how they think the farm will change when the ants are placed inside the farm. A template for the picture can be found on the Activity Sheet for Learning Experience 7 in the Insects Student Activity Book. (Please see PDF) Ask students to share and describe their pictures.

Create a classroom diary of how the ant farm changes. This diary can be written/drawn on chart paper or in book form. Students will notice significant changes at first. Changes will become smaller and smaller as the ants complete their home. Discuss with students how the farm has changed from day to day. Compare the cricket habitat to the ant habitat.

Discussion Questions:

What do you think the ants will do when they are put into the farm?

How will the ants change the ant farm?

What changes do you see in the farm

today that you did not see yesterday?

Describe what the ants are doing in the farm?

How does the cricket habitat compare to the ant habitat?

Do the ants act like a community in their habitat?

Do the ants appear to work together?

Sing Ants Are Busy to the tune of Where is Thumbkin?

The ants are busy,

The ants are busy,

Yes they are,

Yes they are,

Busy finding some food, Busy building their home,

Work away,

Work away.

For the accompanying Insects Student Activity Book, please refer to the PDF found here. (Please see PDF)

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