Last week, our friends from the City Campus came out to visit us. We spent the entire time outside conducting Nature Walks, gathering collections and classifying our finds. Before we could begin, however, we needed to greet one another.
Behold, how two ants greet each other.
One of the tidbits we learned last week was that ants from the same colony greet each other in a particular way. We were inspired to imitate an ant greeting during our morning message. Notice the sound effects? Those aren’t necessarily accurate, but the children decided to add them anyway.
Now that we have completed our movie, we can move onto our next topic of study. You might remember that we set up an ant observation sanctuary last month. Since establishing the protected zone, we’ve had many question regarding the life and cuisine of ants. Thus our next exploration takes us into the realm of the entomologist.
This morning’s message posed the question, “What questions do you have about ants?” It was interesting to see how many of the children persisted in offering ideas (read: facts) about ants rather than positing questions. With a bit of redirection, we gathered great starting points for our research.
- How do ants find food? – AJ
- Why do some ants bite? – OA
- Where do ants live? – TO
- How do ants get into buildings? – SC
- What is inside their holes? – OM
- Do ants have a head? – SM
- Do ants have eyes? – AR
- Where do they live? – SB
- What colors can they be? – AH
- Where are their eyes? – JW
- Are their legs sticky? – ES
- What do they do in their ant holes? – Daniela
- How do they grow? – Harrison
- How do ants turn into ant queens? – JJ
Yesterday on the side of the sledding hill, the children discovered some very small holes along a muddy patch. After some careful observation, a few small black ants were spotted. A discussion regarding the creation of the tiny mounds surrounding the holes raised many questions. A few of the children thought that the dirt piles were sand that had been carried from the sandbox and placed by the holes as play areas for the ants. Some suggested the grains of dirt were a food source. One girl suggested that the ants had brought the small specs of dirt up from their tunnels using their legs and created the pile as they made bigger tunnels.
As our time outdoors drew to a close, we realized that the area might soon be overrun by larger children. The Pre-K children were worried that the older students might not see the ant “homes” and accidentally step on them. We called for suggestions to “save the ants.” After some thought, a fence was designed and built using sticks and yarn.
Although the weather has dipped back to freezing today, we are hoping to revisit our Ant Observation Sanctuary soon. Many of the children mentioned the ants in their planning journals this morning. With luck and good weather, we’ll keep an eye on this little colony for the rest of the school year.