A is for ants and apples (and inkpads, slightly).

“a” is for ants

“A” is for the little ant colony currently making a nest complete with eggs in our car. Whenever we open the trunk, we see them scurry to another part of the vehicle with their eggs in tow. So ants are an “A” we can relate to and learn more about right now.

The mornings have been stocked with teachable moments, which we capture when we can. Earlier this week, we did a little cursive writing and tracing with ants. Today we are going to do a little science-oriented crafting with ants, thanks to this Inkpad Ants craft and lesson from Danielle’s Place.

Have your children draw an anthill on a piece of paper. Show them how to press their fingers on an inkpad to make ant prints. Add legs and antennae with a pencil or marker. Talk about the body parts of an ant as they work. Use the correct terms: head, abdomen, and thorax. Also tell them that ants have six legs; all insects have six legs. Count as they draw the legs. Second and third graders will enjoy learning about point of view. Show your children how to make the ants from different points of view. Show them that if you draw the ant from a side view, you may only be able to see three of its legs and only one eye. The legs and eye on the other side are hidden by its body. See how many different viewpoints from which you can make the ants. You can also use a model ant (see below) to demonstrate point of view. Hold the model straight in front of your children and ask them how many legs, eyes, and antennae they see. Place it on the floor and have your children look down on it. Ask them how many legs, eyes, and antennae they see. Hold it above their head. Ask them how many legs they see, and if they see the eyes and antennae.

Max is working on an ant entry for his bestiary. In exploring the ant, Max used his animal encyclopedia as well as Ant facts from National Geographic. Then we turned to exploring all those lovely real-life ants in our backyard, among other critters and insects.

The Maxy-naturalist-in-action prepared to go and retrieve scientific specimens for study and observation. After cutting the specimen cards from his insect specimen sheet, Max was given 10 plastic sandwich bags and instructed to head out to the yard in search of insect specimens. We discussed the importance of keeping specimens intact and (ideally) looking for insects which had already expired. Meanwhile, in the house….

“a” is for apple

Using the A is for apple sheet, Micah and I talked about the letter A and the sounds we hear when we say “apple”.

Inspired by Lil’ Magoolie’s stamp fest, we used a red ink pad and a pencil eraser to fill in the apple stencil. A little green crayon for the stem made a perfect finish.

After printing the Apples Song and Basket Craft handout, we learned the Apple Song and took time to color and cut out the apples and glue them in the basket. We counted our apples as Micah glued them inside a basket and talked about gathering apples and what people make from apples, like applesauce, apple juice, apple pie, dried apple, apple prints, and more. The kids loved the song, which Max picked out on the piano almost immediately. He gave David Oliver credit for helping him “learn new chords” which made his picking possible.

Finally, Micah took great satisfaction from putting her new sheets in her alphabet binder. She loves showing Patrick her “homeschooling” when he gets home.

We didn’t get to my favorite activity, the creation of our “Where is the apple?” book, which teaches place and space in conjunction with apples and crafting. Tomorrow is another day.

But you can do it now, if you please. To download in PDF format, just click on the link. Make sure to print it horizontally.

Where is the apple craft book activity sheets

Chasing ants and apples: