2. Whole Group: Go outside and find ants. Scoop some ants and a little dirt into a glass container for observation. If you have a large group, scoop a few ants into several glass containers (like jam or baby food jars). Bring the ants inside. Discuss characteristics. Remind kids how insects have three body parts, and try to find them on the ants you brought inside. Encourage kids to ask questions about the ants. You can answer them or you can direct kids to find the answers. Release ants when done.
3. Song: The Ants Go Marching–stand and act out words (words can be adjusted and rhyme can continue to ten)
The ants go marching one by one. Hurrah, Hurrah. (repeat)
The ants go marching one by one; the little one stops to roll in the sun. And they all go marching down, down, to the ground. Boom, boom, boom.
The ants go marching two by two. Hurrah, Hurrah. (repeat)
The ants go marching two by two; the little one stops to tie his shoe. And they all go marching down, down, to the ground. Boom, boom, boom.
The ants go marching three by three. Hurrah, Hurrah. (repeat)
The ants go marching three by three; the little one stops to clean his knee. And the all go marching down, down, to the ground. Boom, boom, boom.
4. Story: The Ant and the Elephant. Discuss how elephant helped and how the ant returned the favor. Ask what the other animals should have done. Apply to kids’ lives. Act out story.
5. Craft: Egg Carton Ants. Use egg-carton bumps as the three body parts on an ant. Decorate with markers, paint, or other embellishments.
6. Shape Matching with Ants. Draw or print ant pictures on shapes cut out of cardstock. Use two circles, two squares, two rectangles, two triangles, two ovals, two hearts, and two stars (some can be eliminated if needed). Pass a shape out to each child and have them find the person with the matching shape. Review shapes and repeat as long as kids are interested.
7. Snack: Ant Sandwiches. Use cookie cutters to cut circles out of bread or toast. Spread with peanut butter. Let children decorate with raisins and black licorice.
8. What do ants like to eat? Have children agree on 2-3 baits for ants. Put them out on the sidewalk and check the status regularly. Create an observation sheet to record how successful the baits were.
9. Freeplay outside.
10. Circle to review and summarize day.
Supplies for the day:
jars for collecting ants
The Ant and the Elephant
markers and other embellishments
ants on shapes
round cookie cutter, raisins, peanut butter, black licorice
Observation Chart for ant foods