A Colony in the Grove

Updated: May 24, 2019

We began the day with the whole school in The Backyard, where the Friday tradition of singing Rattlin' Bog had everyone jumping and singing! Then, it was off to the Pine Grove, where after a week's worth of work creating our very own interactive ant colony, it all came together! 


We reviewed our previous ant knowledge, and then our little worker ants got busy in the colony! This included:

  • Finding sticks to create antennas for ant hats.

  • Using safety skills, hand-eye coordination, turn-taking, problem-solving, fine motor skills, and communication skills to hang the "Queen Ant" sign in the queen's room.

  • Collecting "food" for the nest. Imagination was fostered as the children added "cinnamon and chocolate" to the pot, and used fork-sticks and spoon-sticks to stir and mix, before following the "tunnels" to bring food to the Queen Ant.

  • Using spray bottles to spray the ant pheromones in order to lead others to food and the nest. 

  • Building compassion and kindness while caring for hurt and sick ants in the "Sick Ants Room".  

  • Treating the Queen Ant like royalty as she was fed, bathed, and had her back rubbed. 

  • Learning to control impulses and care for others, as the "baby-sitter ants" got really quiet and tip-toed over to the "Baby Ants" room. Here they carefully laid down the babies (rocks we had painted earlier in the week to look like the babies) for a nap, before (upon waking up) carefully carrying them out into the sunshine (just as we had learned real ants do with their young). One Root even changed a baby's diaper before then bringing the baby to the kitchen for some food, while others brought babies to visit the Queen.

  • Working on balance and coordination as they followed the tunnels from one room to another. 



Other explorations included:

  • The discovery of a caterpillar on the ground, and an ant and a spider staring at each other on a tree! 

  • One of our worker ants finding and following a real ant.

  • Playing in the newly discovered "secret cave".

  • Ice cream and other treats for sale at the stump.


Inside, children brought their learning together at the small world table, as they used sand and toy ants to create the different rooms and tunnels, have the ants carry food on their backs, and dump all the "trash" in a pile. 


We ended our day with Ball Breathing before enjoying Buddy Lunch with friends and a visiting dad as a lunchtime reader! 


#natureschool

#letthemplay

#thisislearning

a school for children who are serious about dirt and squirmy things

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174 Lambertville Hopewell Road 

Hopewell, New Jersey  08525

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