Welcome back to Creepy, Crawly Critters! Last week we learned about classifying animals. Scientists have categorized animals into two large groups: vertebrates and invertebrates. They are then classified into smaller groups. Last week focused on an invertebrate, the starfish. This week at TLaS! we also focused on an invertebrate. It belongs to the Animal Kingdom, the Arthropoda phyla, and the Insecta class. It has 3 body parts (the head, the thorax, and the abdomen), 6 legs (which are attached to the thorax), mandibles, and antennae. It lives in colony and can lift 20 times their body weight. Can you guess? The ant!
We read Hey, Little Ant by Phillip and Hannah Hoose. This book caused great thoughts about the importance of living things. Ask your child what they think should happen to the ant in the book. We brainstormed what we knew about ants.
We compared ants to other animals in their phylum, such as ticks, spiders, millipedes, lobsters, and crabs. We discovered similarities and differences of these creatures and saw how scientists differentiate into different classes. Then we read Time for Kids: Ants! They are hard workers! by the editors of Time for Kids with Brenda Lasevoli. Ants are insects. All insects have segmented bodies and three pairs of jointed legs that are connected to the thorax. Some have wings.
Ants, ants, everywhere! Exploration Time was filled with ants: we ate them, fingerprinted them, counted them, and constructed with them.
Science Experiment: We used physical science to reinforce the concepts that ants have three body parts (head, thorax, and abdomen), six legs that attach to the thorax, and two antennae. We made these ants with a playdoh, pipe cleaners, and pony beads.
We also played a game to see which “colony of ants” could work together and carry something much larger than them.
Projects: Our work was to make an ant. Since our science experiment today focused on an ant’s anatomy, our work did as well. We were sure to create our specimen using 3 body parts, 6 legs, and antennae!
At the easel we had the opportunity to create fingerprint ants marching across a slice of watermelon!
Math and Science Table: We used our slottos to build anthills for our ant colony. We added our spools, cardboard pieces, Lincoln Logs, slottos, plastic trees and rocks, green foliage, plastic flower tops, ants, insects, flies, and colored stones to the fun!
Table Play: An ant math game complete with checkered boards, small ants, and a dice provided loads of fun!
Ants live all over the world, except for Antarctica. We added a rainforest exploration because ants live in the rainforest! We built our rainforest with: beans, rainforest frogs, butterflies, plastic trees, tree cookies, Lincoln Logs, blue stones, green foliage, and colorful flower tops.
Sensory Play: Sensory play involved constructing with our tree cookies, eraser food, miniature furniture, and green stones in a tote of pinto beans…with ants!
Dramatic Play: A picnic of course!
Floor Play: Each ant colony has a queen so the Imaginext castle was available with the knights, the princesses, and our dragons along with some blue stones, and our large blocks.
Snack: We provided the children with a graham cracker, frosting, and mini chocolate chips to create an anthill!
Classifying Invertebrates by Francine D. Galko
Time for Kids: Ants! They are hard workers! By the Editors of Time for Kids with Brenda Iasevoli
Hey, Little Ant by Phillip and Hannah Hoose
Coleen and Jodi