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Ant Farming

Down on the farm.

Ant interactions are easy to observe. Use an ant farm as an illustration of one habitat and then extend the observations and ideas to other groups of animals like lions, fish, walruses, prairie dogs, wolves, and human beings. Consider instinctual and learned behaviors for survival in the population.
Materials
An ant farm
(If you need to purchase one, try these sources: Uncle Milton's Ant Farm or Insect Lore.)
A small magnifying glass
An observation log

Procedure
A few days before you begin this activity, set up the ant farm. Then leave it alone for a few (3-4) days while the ants unpack and move into their new place.
Spend ten minutes each day observing the ant colony and record observations.
Continue for at least five days.

Conclusions
Discuss the ant behaviors. Consider instinctual versus learned behaviors.

Extension Ideas
Consider two (or more) separate ant farms. Compare and contrast observations.
Consider how ant farms are like other animal populations, including human beings.

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