Friday, May 20, 2011

Outdoor Hour Challenge - Ants

We ended up doing an impromtu outdoor hour challenge the other day when the boys very excitedly called me over to look at something in the yard:


They were very pleased to announce that they had found a large black ant nest:



By happy coincidence we had picked out the perfect book for this challenge at the library earlier in the week, so after watching the ants for quite awhile we sat down outside to read:



We decided to set out some food for the ants so we could observe them gathering crumbs:



We were very curious to see what food they would prefer.  While we were waiting we sat down to draw in our journals:





While Short Pants and I were finishing our journal pages Pita Pocket rode his bike around the yard in search of more anthills:



The boys observed that different types of ants build different types of homes.  This was created by "little black ants"



Then it was back to waiting for the black ants to find their food:



They liked the apple slices best.  Way to make healthy choices, ants!



Later I did some reading in the Handbook of Nature Study and related some ant facts to the boys.  They thought it was very funny that ants clean themselves with their tongues and back feet!

For more info on outdoor hour challenges, head over to the Handbook of Nature Study blog:

Outdoor Hour button


9 comments:

Kathleen Rietz said...

How wonderful! I am the illustrator Of "Little Black Ant on Park Street". Thank you for using my book. It is a great teaching tool, and was a blast to illustrate!

Stephanie said...

I love it when those unplanned moments turn out so well! They are often the best teaching moments! Great Job!

Janet Halfmann http://www.janethalfmann.com said...

Hi! I'm the author of "Little Black Ant on Park Street." What a fun activity, and I'm glad the book was so useful. I couldn't wait to see which food the ants would choose!

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog! Loving it! Where did you get your son's bike pictured in this post? And/or do you know the name of it? I am having the hardest time finding a beginner bike for my daughter. Thank you!

Joy said...

What an awesome experience and study of ants! Isn't impromptu the best? :) I love the Smithsonian's Backyard books. We have a few of them that I thrifted, and they are well-loved.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

"Way to make healthy choices, ants!"

This made me laugh! Great nature study with so many good things about the process of your study. Thank you so much for sharing the entry with the OHC.

Phyllis said...

Wonderful post. Loved it!

Zonnah said...

Thats a good idea to do an experiment with food. I will have to do that with our ant nest.

Nicole said...

Kathleen & Janet, thanks so much for stopping by! We really loved your book and was just telling someone about it the other day. :)

Anonymous, the bike was a gift and I'm not sure where it was bought. But...for my older son we simply took the pedals off a regular bike and that has worked fine.

Thanks everyone for reading and commenting!