The Wonderful World of Kindergarten

Welcome to our Reggio Emilia inspired classroom at Dr. David Suzuki School.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Ant Inquiry

Ants have the most complicated social organization on earth next to humans. E. O. Wilson
Read more at:
Ants have the most complicated social organization on earth next to humans. E. O. Wilson
Read more at:
Ants have the most complicated social organization on earth next to humans. E. O. Wilson
Read more at:
Ants have the most complicated social organization on earth next to humans. E. O. Wilson
Read more at:
Ants have the most complicated social organization on Earth next to humans.
~ Edward Osborne Wilson ~

Nature is a great teacher. 
The wondering mind is a great discoverer of knowledge. 
The tiny ant is a mighty subject!

The ant inquiry began when Morgan found hitch-hikers in her backpack.

After some excited gathering of ants and information, Mason set to work on creating "an Ant Centre" on the science table. The ants were waiting in containers that had air holes and fruit. They needed a habitat to live while we studied them.


Growing curiousity about the difference of Mason's Ant Farm (which is the kind used to experiment in space) and how ants live on earth, led to the creation of a natural habitat to study ants.

The children used the Ipad to study ants and how to make an Ant Farm.


 We needed a mixture of sand and dirt. Two parts sand to one part dirt. That meant that for every scoop of dirt that was gathered, two scoops of sand needed to be added. The children decided that we would start with two scoops of dirt and determined that 4 scoops of sand needed to be mixed.

But what materials could we find to build the farm structure?
Luckily we had materials right in our room.
We found two empty picture frames that were the same size, transparency film, and tape.

The children worked together to trace the frame on the transparency film.
Then they cut out the transparency film to the size of the frame and attached each piece to one of the frames.
Next we added the dirt mixture in one side of a prepared frame.

After that, it was chase the ant time! When we opened the containers that held the ants and tried to put them in their new home...well, you can imagine the challenge!
After much patience and many giggles, the ants were safely in their new home.
The second from was QUICKLY placed on top of the other so that the transparency film side was snug against the dirt.

The final step was to tape the two frame pieces snugly together and then add air holes on the top.

That was on a Friday.
On Monday we came back and the ants had been very busy!
There were tunnels everywhere.
 The more we studied, the more we discovered that we had given carpenter ants a home. 
Thankfully we had not used wood to create the Ant Farm.
Can you guess why?
There were many days of Ipad researches and wondering questions and much finding of information.


 David's father, having seen the ants march out of Morgan's back pack, surprised us at school one morning.
He and David built a big Ant Farm! It had a place for food and moisture and a tube for the ants to crawl through and a place for drips of water to be added and it was all ours!!!
It's made of plastic and wood and has a hinged top and....
uh oh, did I say wood?
Have we been studying carpenter ants?
Now what?!!!

Clearly, we needed ants that preferred dirt....and sand....
Then.... one morning we arrived at school to find part of our play yard filled with tiny hills. 
Can you guess why those hills appeared?


The children knew just what these were from all the research they had been doing.
"Ant hills!" they yelled all together.
We had just a place to create a habitat.

Well carpenter ants, you are going to have some cousins right next door.





We worked together to scoop the ants into their habitat. We think we even discovered eggs.


We made sure to follow the instructions and talked about the information David's father provided.  
We were quite sure that this was an inquiry.


We needed to poke plenty of holes for air, but small enough so that the ants couldn't fit through. We decided to use a push tack. It worked perfectly!


David and Nathan wrote about what they did and what they knew.


We covered the Ant Farm. Did you know they like to work best in the dark?
Either did we until we researched about them.
The next day we saw tunnels begin to form.

Each day there were more tunnels.

Ants are very busy creatures!


What we know...
* Ants live in colonies
* Different ants have different jobs in their community
* Ants are super-hero strong
 * Ants don't get lost
* We would have to count super-duper high, like high, like infinity high to count how many kinds of ants there are
* Queen ants can fly

What can you find out?

Click the link and you will know more than you did before!


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