Wednesday: Leafcutter Ant

May 23, 2012   //   by Miss Kim   //   Daily Lessons  //  No Comments

Calendar:  Discussed calendar in English and Spanish.  Gretchen discussed the weather, found the day of the week in Spanish and added the number to the calendar.  She reviewed the Spanish and Sign language words.

Brainstorm/Fun Facts:  We reviewed what we learned about Iguanas.  The children told me everything they know about Leafcutter Ants.  The Leafcutter ant is the name of an ant that cuts leaves. They live in the Amazon Jungle.   Fun Facts:  Leaf cutter ants could be the smallest recyclers on the planet.  These little ants serve an extremely useful purpose in the rainforest.  Leaf cutter ants cut small holes into the leaves of vascular plants.  The ants then pick up these giant pieces of leaf and carry them down into their dens.  Leaf cutter ants are actually a good source of protein for humans, and they are eaten in parts of Mexico.  It is also claimed that the Indians used the jaws of a leaf-cutter as stitches to hold together the edges of a wound.  A Leaf Cutter Colony can strip the tallest of trees in a single day.  Equivalent consumption of a full grown cow in the same time!

Logic:  Discussed:  What part of your body do you use to find your way?  Leafcutter ants smell to find their way.  They leave a scent path from their nest to the place they find food.  We then played a board game.  They rolled the dice and moved their animal that many spaces.  They followed the directions on the board if they landed on a spot like that.  

Social Skills:  Discussed:  How many people are in your family?  A family of ants is called a colony.  Some Leafcutter Ant colonies in the jungle have as many as 8-10 million ants.  Looked at the picture they will be making in afternoon centers.

Global Citizenship:  Discussed:  What type of work do you do with your family? Each year in Brazil, there is a large celebration known as The Carnival.  Many people work together, like ants, to make it an exciting event. We looked at the World Map and found Brazil.  Explained that each ant in a colony has a job to do to make everything work.  We discussed the jobs that people in Brazil would have to do to prepare for The Carnival.  

Logic:    Discussed:  What job would you like to have when you grow up? Ants work but do not choose their job.  When they are born they either become a builder, farmer, hunter or soldier.  We had 4 Charting Choice Cards.  I read the question on the card and each child came up one at a time to place an ant on the choice they wanted to answer the question.  We then discussed more and less and which choice was chosen to win.  We did this with each card and each card had two choices.  Charting Choice Card 1:  Would you rather work like an “ANT” or “SLOTH”? Charting Choice Card 2:  Would you rather swim with a “PINK DOLPHIN” or fly with a “BUTTERFLY”?  Charting Choice Card 3:  Would you rather ride on a “JAGUAR” or a “MONKEY”? Charting Choice Card 4:  Would you rather follow a “SNAKE” or a “TOUCAN”?

Afternoon Centers:  Center 1: Outside Play  Center 2:  Art-  The children will tear pieces of green paper to make a picture on the paper.  They can turn those pieces of paper into a person or whatever they would like to do with their families.  They will then tell Miss Felicia how many family members they have and write that on the paper. They will also write what they like to do as a family.

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