Learning About Ants? Think Ants @GIANTmicrobes

I received the ant collection from Giant Microbes for my reviews in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are 100% mine.

Researching Ants I’ve Made One Surprising Discovery.

There are no real ‘knee slapping funny ant jokes!’ A lot of cute ant puns but no real funny jokes.

ant joke

This is probably because ants seem to take life seriously and haven’t made any great jokes to share with us. Ants have been around for around 80 million years and have been discovered in amber fossils from the Cretaceous period. Ants may not tell great jokes but they do talk using three primary methods. Scent, touch and sound.

I have to admit that I have reservation on kids capturing critters in jars. I don’t know the animal psychi but I’m all for not causing anxiety, fear or a disturbance to their life cycle. Sometimes kids want to capture small insects to observe them and I understand the process of wanting to discover, learn and satisfy curiosity. I allow it as long as the insect is not kept for a long period of time and released back in the area it was taken from and no harm is brought to it.

Ants, especially the ones that bite are not the best subjects so Giant Microbes ants can play an important role in discovery without harm coming to the bug or the child.
black ants

Using the Giant Microbes black ants in a petri dish can help children creatively learn visually besides using their auditory and hands on skills to learn.
trio of ants
A child may derive a lot of correct assumptions about ants just by asking them, “Look at these ants and tell me something about ants.” No doubt all the answers will be right. Answers from the simplest form of color identification to more advanced thinking of answers, such as, ants are social insects will get children to use reasoning skills and classification techniques.

Honing in on particular lessons you’d like to reinforce are all possible with Giant Microbe Ants as well.

Scent

Ants have a very sharp sense of smell and they use that to their advantage by not only smelling food sources but by communicating with their fellow colony mates as well. Ants can produce 15 to 20 different smells by using their glands in their body to produce pheromones. Scents identifying themselves to other ants of their role in the colony (ants live in a caste system), intruder alerts to the pheromones secreted when dead all help ants to network together and keep their colony safe and tidy.
Did you ever wonder why hundreds of ants appear when you step on their mound? One ant may produce the warning pheromone and as other ants come to answer the call they too will produce the same pheromone to alert other ants that more are needed to protect the colony.
Here is a great video that explains it.

Learning that ants actually smell with their antennae is a fun fact for a child to learn and letting them identify that part of the body on a ant by using one from Giant Microbes is a safe and memorable lesson.

Touch

Ants have a keen sense of touch because of the hairs that are on their body but particularly their legs. These hairs pick up vibrations alerting ants to what is going on around them. Ants will use the sense of touch to communicate with other workers. If something is discovered by one ant and it wants to bring it to the attention to another ant it will use its antennae and front legs on a fellow ant to direct its attention to the discovery.

Sound

It has been discovered that ants make a sound such as squeaking or buzzing by rubbing segments of their bodies together. They will also tap their gasters on plants or leaves to make sounds that are recognized by the colony to communicate danger or food discoveries.

ant anatomy

photo credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Scheme_ant_worker_anatomy-en.svg


Again using the Giant Microbes black ants in a petri dish to let children observe or point out areas of an ant according to a chart uses hands on learning techinques as well as visual and auditory skills by listening to the question and responding by showing the area of the ant to answer the question.

After you have studied about ants then the kids can grab up their Giant Microbes ants and go listen to ants that speak English by watching two cute and creative ant movies.
A Bugs Life. A Bugs Life and The Ant Bully movie the ant bully. If you have Netflix then you can tune in there or pick them up on line.
Using Giant Microbes to enforce facts about ants will be a great lesson as well as a memory maker children will remember well into adult hood.

You can purchase Black ants in a petri dish, like the ones I received for review, on the Giant Microbes site for your ant lesson. This particular set comes with three black ants in a sturdy plastic case (petri dish). The ants are about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide. The ants can be removed from the petri` dish or be kept in it for safe storage Don’t forget to follow Giant Microbes on there social media sites to learn fun facts and their giveaways.
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Have you been following along with my other posts about ants? If you missed some then you can find them here:
Large Black Ant
Large Red Ant
Red Ants In Petri Dish

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I believe that every moment has an opportunity to inspire the imagination and nurture creativity. I focus on articles and products that promote creativity, education and fun places to visit.

14 comments for “Learning About Ants? Think Ants @GIANTmicrobes

  1. Daisy
    May 6, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I need to get this for my son. He’s weird around bugs, but I think that if he understood ants better, he wouldn’t freak out. This looks like a way to make it fun.

  2. May 6, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    I guess I really didn’t know very much about ants! The Giant Microbes black ants look like they could make learning fun!

  3. May 6, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I love the ant joke lol. I’ll have to share that with my daughter.

    I know so very little about ants! I didn’t realize they were this complex. It gives me a new appreciation for them though I still want them out of my kitchen lol.

    I’ll have to look into these Giant Microbes for my daughter. She loves critters.

  4. kim
    May 6, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Well then…there’s a lot to an ant i didn’t know!!! I always say to my son “you must have ants in your pants” – I’m sure this is something great for kids to learn from.

  5. May 6, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    I have studied ants a little bit, as there are many in my yard. It is amazing to see how they all come to help each other when a nest is disturbed.

  6. May 6, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Such a great way to learn in a multi-sensory way. My son would love the ants.

  7. May 6, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    I have been eyeing these for so long, as my blogs all have an ant on them!

  8. May 6, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    I don’t know why I think ants are cool when I hate bugs but I do…lol

  9. May 6, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    I am completely intrigued with ants.

  10. lisa jones
    May 6, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Wow I Never Knew Til Now So Much About Ants This Is Great!

  11. May 7, 2014 at 7:42 am

    That’s interesting! I had no idea ants had hair on their legs to help them feel!

  12. May 8, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Really enjoyed this lesson on ants and I’m going to share it with my sons. What a wonderful resource you’ve provided!

  13. May 13, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    What an awesome teaching tool… I had no idea that they have these.. soo cool… Thanks for sharing…

  14. Pam
    May 23, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    This is such a fun list of activities to do with the kids this summer. And it’s easy to find ants to observe too!

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