An Ant Study

The Abundant Garden: Growing Quality Kids Through Gardening by Kinderfarmhomeschool.com

Image by WordSwag

An Ant Study: an activity for children of all ages. As you learned in the lesson, there are many valuable lessons to be learned from ants – lessons for the mind, and for the heart and soul. In Proverbs 6:6, we are told to, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” (NIV). In this activity, the children will not only learn about ants and to pay special attention and closely observe the world around them, but also about themselves.

*This activity was adapted from an activity found in Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Comstock.

Learning for the mind:

  • Supplies:
  • Read one of the resources book and/or the following:
  • On a warm and sunny day, go outside on a field trip to find an ant hill and or in the garden. Take time to observe the ants at work. Where was the ants’ nest found? How many entrances can you see? What do the ants carry to their home? Do you see two ants sharing the same load? How do the ants react when their nest is disturbed? What do they do with the young? If you find ants on a plant, do you see any aphids? If so, watch the interactions between the ant and the aphids. Document desired findings.
  • To experiment about what ants will eat, place an assorted variety of food items on a paper plate (such as seeds, raisins, crackers, sugar, lettuce). Draw a line around and label each food item. Set the plate outside the ant hill. Check back after 1 hour to see what has happened. While waiting, consider making, and then eating, the “Ants on a Log” snack included in this weeks’ activities. In 2 hours re-check the paper plate. Notice what foods the ants have taken. Which is their favorite? Document any findings in the garden notebook. Consider feeding the ants food from this list when you do the “Make An Ant Farm” activity.
  • Draw an ant and label each part (the book Nature Anatomy, p. 94, 95, is a great resource for this, but please note, there is mention of evolution on p. 95).
  • Feel free to add your memory verse, a list of the books you’ve read, poems, recipes, memories, or quotes about ants to the journal page.
  • Place the page(s) in a protector when finished and include it in the garden notebook/journal.
  • Take pictures and tag #theabundantgarden on Instagram to share your fun and for an opportunity to be featured @theabundantgarden.
  • For an older child: have them investigate the function or role of each part of an ant and define the different types of ants: queen, male, worker, and soldier.
  • Include additional information below.

Learning for the heart and soul (emotional and spiritual learning):

  • Supplies:
    • gardening notebook/journal
    • paper (if using a binder) – copy paper, cardstock and/or 140 lb weight paper if using watercolors
    • pencil and eraser
    • art medium of choice (colored pencils, watercolors, crayons, or markers)
    • page protectors
  • Go outside on a field trip to find an ant hill. Take time to observe the ants at work. Note any character traits (such as hardworking, persistent, helpful, self-motivated, focused, etc.).
  • Document these findings next to the ant (drawn above) on the journal page.
  • Feel free to add your memory verse, a list of the books you’ve read, poems, recipes, memories, or quotes about ants to the journal page.
  • Place the page(s) in a protector when finished and include it in the garden notebook/journal.
  • Take pictures and tag #theabundantgarden on Instagram to share your fun and for an opportunity to be featured @theabundantgarden.

The Ways of the Ant

My child, behold the cheerful ant,

How hard she works, each day;

She works as hard as adamant

Which is very hard, they say.

-Oliver Herford

found in the book Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Comstock