Thursday, May 25, 2017

Fun with Ants

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This is a story about a 3 year old, having tons of fun learning about ants.  This month I got out the first week of discovery bags from Mother Goose Time and let Adam choose which bug he wanted to learn about first.  We started with Bees (day 5), then onto Ladybugs (day 1) and now we are learning about Ants (day 4).  This makes the already amazing curriculum even more individualized to the child.

To take it one step further, I place all the activities from the day into a drawer in our ten drawer stand and he gets to look inside to see which activity he wants to start with.

There are two activities that we have done so far from this day of ant lessons.  The first is called Anthill Village.  This was the Investigation Station for the day and all I had to provide was play-doh and beans and Adam did the rest.  I actually included one more thing, a video of ants coming in and out of an anthill.
Had I been on top of things, I would have the recommended book here to read with Adam. This could have easily taken place of the video.  But since we did not have the book and this was the first activity he chose to do for this day, I needed to introduce the concept to him and the video worked perfectly.
As he was placing his ants on the anthill I asked Adam the discussion question that was supposed to be a part of the Circle Time.  "What work do you think an ant does?"  Adam wasn't really sure so I continued the conversation, discussing how ants have to come out to get food and to protect their home.
Adam is very proud of his anthill.
The next activity he chose is called Ant Colony.  This one surprised me with it's simple ingeniousness.  Before I looked in the Teacher Guide I saw two pieces of paper, each with an anthill cut out and a log with numbers one through nine.  At first I thought, hmm, they accidentally sent one too many.  Then I read the Teacher Guide and discovered, no, they sent the right amount.  They had us make two anthills and cut out two logs.  We used the spinner from day 1 that has the numbers 1 through 9 on it.  The child spins and puts that number of ants into one anthill then spins again to put that number of ants in the other anthill.  Then you ask them, which one has more?
The first round was pretty easy for Adam because one anthill only had 1 and one anthill had 3.  He was able to answer very quickly which one had more.
The second round was much harder.  One had 8 and one had 9.  He did all the counting himself as he put the ants in the anthill, but when I asked him which had more, he had a hard time knowing.  So this time, we lifted the anthills and counted them out on the log.  The idea was to line them up on the log so we could see which one had more.  Adam, however, wanted to start at 9 and work backwards.  Honestly, he's so young, I just let him.  He technically could still see which one had more.
He did this for two rounds and then was ready to move on.

Later in the day I pulled out the drawer that had the awesome manipulatives we got from Mother Goose Time this month.  I had them in the drawer still in the plastic bag, so they were not very appealing.  I took them out of their bag, put them loose in the drawer and set the drawer on the table.  When they were discovered, all three boys created creatures for over an hour.
And the last thing I want to share with you is this.
Even chickens love Mother Goose Time.

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