Recently I discovered this great free resource over at The Homeschool Belle that uses The Magic School Bus DVDs as a base for a science curriculum. After looking it over and another similar resource at Water on the Floor, I decided that I wanted to marry the two together and add in my own ideas to use as fun "breaks" from our normal science curriculum throughout the year.
During our first week back to schooling after the baby was born, I decided to not jump fully into everything right away. I thought utilizing one of these Magic School Bus curriculums would be the perfect fit for science. The kids chose to study about ants first. Here is what we did(followed by lots of fun resources for your own ant unit!).
We kicked off our week as the curriculums above suggested, watching the MSB episode, "Gets Ants in its Pants."
Throughout the rest of the week we focused on ant life cycle, parts of an ant, the various types of ants within a colony, ant dietary habits, and more. The weather is still warm enough here to go outside and search out some ants, so we hunted through our backyard to find some and observe as well. We opted to skip making our own ant farm, as I didn't have enough confidence that they wouldn't escape and invade our house!
We made a simple and fun craft to show the life cycle of ants.
All you need is
- a paper plate
- green felt
- a white pipe cleaner
- a cotton ball
- 3 black pony beads
- dry rice grains
Have your child draw an X in the middle of the plate to segment it into four sections. Then cut four leaf shapes from the felt and glue one into each section.
On the first leaf, glue the rice grains. On the second, glue two small pieces of the pipe cleaner. On the third, glue the cotton ball. Finally, on the last leaf, glue the three pony beads on, pressed together to look like an adult ant. After all the glue is dry, just label the sections as follows and you're done!
- Hey, Little Ant by Phillip Hoose
- Ant Cities by Scott Foresman
- Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg
- The Magic School Bus Gets Ants in its Pants by Joanna Cole
- The Christian Liberty Nature Reader: Volume 1 by Wendy Kramer (which includes information about ants on pages 93-98)
- Ant Preschool Unit from 2 Teaching Mommies (my two children who were participating in this are not in preschool, but we only used a select few pages from this unit)
- Ant Lapbook from Homeschool Share
- Ant External Diagram from Enchanted Learning
- Ant Life Cycle Diagram from Enchanted Learning
- All About Ants Unit Study by Bradenburg Studies
- Ants Thematic Unit by Teacher Created Resources
- The Curiosity Files:Zombie Fire Ants by The Old Schoolhouse
- Make an Egg Carton Ant at DLTK Kids
- Ant Nature Study at Handbook of Nature Study
- Ant Life Cycle toy from Insect Lore
- Make your own ant farm at Crafts Ideas for Kids
- Make an anthill cake at TLC Cooking
A Bug's Life
Amazing Ant Facts
Giant Ant Colony Excavated