The largest ant in the world is the giant Amazonian ant which can reach an impressive size of 1.6 inches in length.
Found only in South America, these huge red ants are happy to live in both the rainforest and the coastal regions. The females are jet black while the males are a dark red color and they can be territorial when faced with other ants.
The giant Amazonian ants commonly make their nests in both soil and sand and don’t travel further than thirty feet when searching for food. They eat a wide variety of plants and insects as well as spiders, snails, and crickets.
For this activity, we first watched a short clip of these voracious eaters. Following this, we created our very own ant hills out of sand and toy figure ants.
Fine motor skills are finger and hand skills such as writing, cutting, opening lunch boxes, and tying shoe laces.
The development of these skills relies upon age appropriate development of physical skills (such as core trunk control and shoulder strength) providing the stable base from which the arm and hand can then move with control.
For this activity, we used tweezers and pom poms to make the letter B!
Thinking of the visual arts in early childhood education can initially evoke an image of a child standing at an easel, thick stubby paint brush in hand with bright acrylic poster paint spreading quickly across the page.
However, research has shown the visual arts to be a rich domain through which young children can explore and represent their experiences, think through and deepen their working theories, and develop their creative thinking.
It is through the visual arts that children learn about the symbolic systems of representation and communication valued by their communities.
For this activity, we used tissue paper to create butterfly wings.
These fascinating creatures (butterflies) have beautiful wings made of chitin and scales.
Students glued each “scale” (or tissue paper) to construction paper along with their friends!
Many preschools make the mistake of providing strictly academic experiences that entail pencils and worksheets. While this may be appropriate for school-age children, preschoolers suffer greatly when only allowed traditional tutelage. This is why learning through play is so important.
Unlike older children, little ones are incapable of abstract thought. Things like recognizing symbols and numbers must come from three-dimensional activities. Worksheets do not offer that. This is why most of our activities are hands-on. For this activity, one of our students brought in cocoons of REAL Monarch butterflies! We read all about this fascinating creature with a fun, interactive book and then gazed upon the interesting cocoons. One of the butterflies was ready for release so we let him go in our back playground. Such an amazing experience!
The origins of the long s, ſ, can be traced all the way back to old Roman cursive, a script used in Rome for everyday, informal writing from the first century AD to about the third century.
In this script, the letter s was written as a vertical downstroke with a small curve at the end of it, and a diagonal upstroke at the top. It looked almost like a check mark, with an added diagonal line on top of it. I
n new Roman cursive, which developed between the third and seventh century AD, s was written almost as we write the lowercase r today: a vertical downstroke, followed by an upstroke with a curve.
For this activity, we learned all about the long s sound found in the word SPIDER.
To do so, students used manipulatives (in this case, toy spiders) to cover the letter S.
This letter S was placed onto a letter card. Students enjoyed playing with the spiders and putting them into different shapes on the letter.