Free Nature Studies: Ant Workers Part 2

There are many lessons we can learn by observing ants!

This lesson is continued from Lesson I and focuses on the ant’s life cycle, habits and anatomy.

Read the current chapter online: “Ant Workers (Part II)”

  • Make a chart showing the ant’s life cycle.  You’ll find helpful resources below.
  • View a closeup of an ant’s head to see the feelers.
  • View a closeup of ants communicating at
  • Something to do #1: Graphic showing the relative sizes between the queen, male, and worker ants and can be used to make the scale drawing in the notebook.  You’ll find other helpful resources below.
  • Something to do #2: The student can make a page in his notebook to list the “helpful parts of the ants’ work.”  An older student could write an essay comparing and contrasting the helpful part of the ants’ work and the undesirable part of the ants’ work (at least from the human standpoint).
  • Something to do #3:  A narration (written or oral) can be a good substitute.
  • Something to do #4: Have the student make a list of the lessons we can learn from the ant.
  • Use the Bible verse listed for copywork or dictation.  You may also want to have your students memorize Proverbs 6:6-8.
  • More of the ant’s story from the Book of Knowledge:

Instead of making a cell for each egg, as bees and wasps do, ants keep their eggs in groups in fairly large rooms in their nests.  The workers take very good care of the brood of young ones, moving them about in the nest to find the best conditions of moisture and temperature and cleaning them with their mouths.  The young ants (larvae) are fat white grubs.  Worker nurses feed them various foods according to the habits of the particular kind of ant.

Larvae of some ants spin silken cocoons in which to pupate (change to adult ants). Others lie inactive but naked. It is these cocoons or these naked pupae that we see the workers carrying when we disturb an ant nest. The eggs are too small to be noticeable, though the workers carry them, too. Ants can easily pick up their eggs, larvae and pupae and carry them out of danger or move them from one nest to another….

When a larva is ready to spin its cocoon, worker ants bury it in the ground. Burying is necessary because the chubby, legless larva needs something on which to fasten its silken thread as it begins to spin. The silk flows from the larva’s mouth, not from the abdomen as spiders spin silk. The workers seem to know when the cocoon is finished. They then dig it up, clean it off and carry it to some suitable place in the nest. After a few days the new adult ant within is ready to emerge. Again the workers know when to help. They cut open the cocoon and free the new adult, which is feeble and very pale in color. Gradually it darkens and gains strength; soon it is at work in the colony.

“The Ant Family,” The Book of Knowledge

Further Investigation

Lots of basic ant facts at

Ant Life Cycle
From Arizona State University.

Ant Anatomy
Basic information including anatomy from Enchanted Learning.

Black Ant
Closeup of a black ant head at the University of Hawaii. See the feeler?

An article from Answers in Genesis explaining how they communicate.


Ant Anatomy Activity
Fill in the blank activity from Ask a Biologist at Arizona State University.

Ant Drawing Activities
Draw an ant with this free grid.

Ants on a Log
Yummy (and healthy) snack at


“The Ants and the Grasshopper”
An Aesop story illustrating Proverbs 6:6-8.  (See pg. 34)

Free Nature Studies: Ant Workers Part 2

It’s An Ant’s Life by Ant, with help from Steve Parker
A family favorite!  The story of an ant — told from the perspective of an ant.  Reads like a lavishly illustrated journal.  Very instructional with a surprising depth of information, but told in a light and entertaining way.

Unit Studies & Lesson Plans

Learning From the Ants (Proverbs 6)
Lesson plan from illustrating the proverb in several ways.

The Ant and the Grasshopper
Lesson plan from a Canadian performing arts center that goes with the fable.

Ant Farm
An excellent activity packed from Ask a Biologist that includes information, illustrations, lesson plan, ant anatomy worksheet, and instructions for building an ant farm.

63-page download from the Texas Cooperative Extension filled with activities and printables!

Awesome Ants
Full-color activity download from Texas Parks and Wildlife with a couple of activities and a great diagram!

Printables & Notebooking Pages

Ant Anatomy
Diagram for notebook.

Ant Life Cycle Notebooking Page
Great page for notebook at Arizona State University.

Drawing & Writing Notebooking Paper {Free Download}
For making the drawings in Something to Do #1.

Nature Journal Notebooking Sets {Free Download}

Nature Journal Notebooking Sets {Free Download}
Free blank nature journal sets for drawing, illustrating, copying, or narrating.

Ant Workers Notebooking Pages
For copywork, narrations, or wrapping up.

Enjoy the complete series:
Free Nature Studies: Our Wonderful World
Free Nature Studies: Our Wonderful World

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