Activity: Fire Ant Life Cycle Game
Find out what it’s like to live in a fire ant family. This activity to accompany Life in a Fire Ant Family in Youth Module.
Learn about life cycles of insects by using the fire ant as an example. You will study the different developmental stages in the fire ant life cycle. You will need at least three people to play this game (two players and a question reader).
Learn about the life cycle and development of the red imported fire ant.
- Poster: Red Imported Ant Life Cycle
- Worksheet: Red Imported Ant Life Cycle for labeling and coloring (one for each student)
- Game spinner
- Imported Fire Ant Life Cycle Game: True or False Questions
Label the Ant Life Cycle worksheet with the names of each stage, then color it. Place the large life cycle poster where all can see it.
- Play the Life Cycle Game:
- Designate one person to read the questions.
- Spin the spinner.
- Note where on the spinner the arrow points (worker adult, winged adult, eggs, larvae, pupae). Answer the question that you are asked about that area. If you answer the question correctly, you get a point.
- Have the next person turn the spinner, and answer a question.
- Keep taking turns until all have tried to answer five questions. In case of a tie, have the question reader choose a life cycle area and ask a question. Each person participating in the tie breaker writes down the answer. Give a point for each correct answer.
- The person with the most points wins!
- Discuss how the life cycle of a fire ant is similar to the growth and development of other insects (such as butterflies and beetles) and of humans (such as from a baby to child to young adult to parent).
- Compare the sharing of work responsibilities among workers in a fire ant colony to that of a family or community.
- Discuss how failure of one of the groups to do their job can affect the colony.
Additional Information for Instructors
Have the students label the Ant Life Cycle worksheet with the names of each stage, then color it. Place the large life cycle poster where all the students can see it.
Play the Life Cycle Game:
- Divide the class into three groups.
- Decide which group goes first, second and third.
- Have a representative from the group spin the spinner.
- Note where on the spinner the arrow points (worker adult, winged adult, eggs, larvae, pupae) and pose a question about that area to the group. (Refer to the questions supplied with this lesson; you may also use other questions you deem appropriate.) If the group answers the question correctly, award it a point.
- Then have the next group turn the spinner, and ask the group a related question. Give a point if the question is answered correctly.
- Give each group five chances. In case of a tie, choose a life cycle area and ask a question. Each of the groups participating in the tie breaker writes down the answer. Give a point for each correct answer.
- Recognize all the students for their participation.
- You may want to refer to the original KIDzANTS Teacher Manual, which was included in the original release of the KIDzANTS Red Imported Fire Ant Youth module developed by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.