Activity: Mound of Trouble Matching Game
Like any animal, the fire ant needs a place to live. Learn about the construction and organization of a fire ant mound.
Learn the three purposes of an ant mound: to serve as a flight platform for mating flights, to raise the colony above the water table in saturated ground, and to act as a passive solar collector (absorb heat from sun) to warm the colony during the winter.
- Mound diagram for labeling and coloring
- Game Card Instructions
- Blue game cards and picture descriptions
- Brown game cards and picture descriptions
- Green game cards and picture descriptions
- Yellow game cards and picture descriptions
- Game poster, printed on the largest size paper available (if necessary, rotate the image before printing)
- Game spinner
Instructions for Preparation
You will need at least two people in order to play this game.
- Cut apart the Mound of Trouble matching cards. (See instructions).
- Label the “mound diagram” and color it; you may add “ant” figures if you wish.
- Glue the base of the game spinner to a heavier piece of cardboard, foam core, or a styrofoam paper plate. Make a narrow spinner out of card stock or two sheets of paper glued together, then pin it to the base.
Instructions for Game Setup
- Place the picture cards face down on the Mound of Trouble Matching Game board. The game board is bordered by four colors: blue, green, yellow and brown. These colors correspond with different areas of the board. The blue corresponds with the sky, the green with the vegetation, yellow with the mound, and brown with the rest of the underground area.
- The matching cards each have a photograph on one side and one of the four colors on the back. There are two cards for each photograph; one is smaller than the other. Place the larger cards face-down on the borders, matching the color of the border to the color on the back of the card (example: the larger blue cards go face-down on the blue border).
- Place the smaller cards face-down in the area of the board that corresponds to the color on the border. That is, place the small blue cards face-down on the sky, the small yellow cards on the mound, the small green cards on the vegetation and the small brown cards on the underground area that’s not the mound.
- Spread each set of cards on the corresponding section of board.
How to Play
- Decide who goes first, second, etc.
- The first player spins the spinner, and notes what color it points to.
- The player turns over one of the cards on the border of the same color. (Example: If the spinner points to green, the students pick a card from the green border.)
- The player then turns over another picture from the corresponding area of the mound diagram. If the two pictures match, remove both pictures and set them aside. Each time a picture is chosen, identify the picture using the picture descriptions.
- The player then spins the spinner, draws another card and tries to match two more pictures. If the pictures don’t match, replace them face down and the next player draws a card from the deck.
- The object is to uncover all the cards from one colored area. You can stop the game at that point or continue until all pictures are uncovered. The player with the most matches wins.
- Discuss the various types of homes or shelters that other animals have. How are they like or unlike a fire ant mound?
- The tunnels in mounds are like tiny caves. What types of work would you be able to do if you lived in dark tunnels and could not see. What would you be unable to do?
Additional Information for Instructors
Instructions for Playing the Game with teams
- Divide the class into two to four teams. If they wish, the students can name their team using a fire ant theme.
- Place the game board where all can see it.
- Decide which team goes first, second, etc.
- The first team spins the spinner, and notes what color it points to.
- The team turns over one of the cards on the border of the same color. (Example: If the spinner points to green, the students pick a card from the green border.)
- The team then turns over another picture from the corresponding area of the mound diagram. If the two pictures match, remove both pictures and set them aside. Each time a picture is chosen, the instructor should identify the picture (information is available in the picture descriptions) and give a brief description to reinforce the lesson material already taught to the students.
- The team then spins the spinner, draws another card and tries to match two more pictures. If the pictures don’t match, replace them face down and the next team draws a card from the deck.
- The object is to uncover all the cards from one colored area. It will be up to the instructor to decide whether to stop the game at that point. The game can be continued until all pictures are uncovered. The team with the most matches wins.
You maywant 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.