DOWNLOAD TEACHER GUIDE

About this activity

There are about 6,000 mammal species in the world. Most of us are familiar with at least several species of monkeys, bears, wild cats and even whales. But when it comes to insects, diversity within major groups is less well known. You may be aware that there are many butterflies and a few different-looking beetles but when it comes to ants, you might only know about “black ants” and “red ants.”

In reality, insect diversity is enormous. There are more than 1,000,000 insect species currently alive, and of all these insects (about 15,000) are ant species. This means that there are almost three times as many ant species as there are mammal species in the world!

In the “Spirit Ant” activity, students have a chance to explore some of this vast ant diversity. Students will find their “spirit ant” by researching the characteristics of common ant species and comparing their own personalities to the “personalities”/behaviors of their selected ant. A suite of extensions offer the opportunity to incorporate a variety of literacy-based instruction into your curriculum. Specifically you will be able to address writing and visual literacy standards.


CURRICULUM ALIGNMENT – North Carolina Essential Standards

considering main activity & extensions

  • K.L.1.1 Compare different types of the same animal (i.e., different types of dogs, different types of cats, etc.) to determine individual differences within a particular type of animal.
  • W.6.3, W.7.3, W.8.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
  • L.6.1, L.7.1, L.8.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking; demonstrate proficiency within the 6-8 grammar continuum.
  • L.6.2, L.7.2, L.8.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing; demonstrate proficiency within the 6-8 conventions continuum.
  • SL.6.5 Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.
  • 6.SI.1.1 Analyze resources in terms of their reliability (which can be determined by currency, credibility, or authority, depending on the topic or purpose).
  • 6.SI.1.2 Analyze content for relevance to the assigned task.
  • 6.SE.1.2, 7.SE.1.2 Apply the safety precautions necessary when using online resources (personal information, passwords, etc.).
  • 6.TT.1.1 Select appropriate technology tools to gather data and information (e.g., Web-based resources, e-books, online communication tools, etc.).
  • 7.SI.1.1, 8.SI.1.1 Evaluate resources for reliability. (Reliability can be determined by currency, credibility, authority, etc. depending on the curriculum topic).
  • 7.SI.1.2, 8.SI.1.2 Evaluate content for relevance to the assigned task.
  • 7.TT.1.1, 8.TT.1.1 Use appropriate technology tools and other resources to access information.
  • 7.TT.1.2, 8.TT.1.2 Use appropriate technology tools and other resources to organize information (e.g., graphic organizers, databases, spreadsheets, and desktop publishing).
  • 7.V.2.3 Create original art emphasizing selected elements and principles to express ideas or feelings.
  • 7.V.3.1 Apply safety knowledge to maintain a safe and orderly personal work space.
  • 8.V.1.2 Apply the Elements of Art and Principles of Design in the planning and creation of personal art.
  • 8.V.2.3 Create original art that conveys one or more ideas or feelings.
  • 8.V.3.1 Apply knowledge of safety and media to maintain and take care of the work space and art.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Extension 1: Me & My spirit ant

Extension 2: Journey of an ant

Extension 3: Quilt squares

  • Student Activity Sheet
  • Pencils
  • Markers, Crayons, Colored Pencils
  • 8.5” x 8.5” Paper Quilt Squares
  • Completed Find Your Spirit Ant Activity Sheet & Part 1 of Extension 2

DIRECTIONS

  1. Give each student a Find Your Spirit Ant Student Activity Sheet and make the 15 Spirit Ant Cards available (online or as a hard copy).
  2. Have students complete the Find Your Spirit Ant Student Activity Sheet independently.
  3. Review the extension activities and choose which ones you’d like to complete with your students. Follow instructions on each Student Activity sheet. Note that each extension builds on the Find Your Spirit Ant Activity since students will work with “their” respective spirit ants.