II.C.1 Part Four-Compiling and Analyzing the Data
|Instructions for the teacher:
- The Class Data Worksheet can either be
photocopied for each student or copied on the chalkboard or overhead projector.
- Use data sheets from Part Two to complete the tables in
question #1 and #2 of the class data sheet.
- Vote on names for the different kinds of ants. The students will have fun with this.
Remind them that all the ants they saw were female workers, so for example, naming a fast
ant after a popular quarterback may not be the best idea! Watch for names that might
accidentally offend some person or group.
- Reconstruct the placement of the teams along your study site by completing "Ant
Main Street, Scrubville, USA." Have students come to the chalkboard, beginning with
the teams who were at one end or the other of the string, and draw a little house with the
name of the ant or ants that they looked at. The students will almost certainly remember
who they were next to. When they are finished it will be possible to see who lives next to
whom. If you find just one species of ant, then, most likely, it outcompetes other ants.
If you find several species living close together, a variety of foods are most likely
available or the species have different food preferences.
- Use Student Data Sheet #2 from Part Three to fill in the table in question #4 on the Class Data Worksheet.
After completing this activity, students should:
- Be able to give examples of some advantages of social living and working as a team.
- Know that chemical signals and scent trails are a form of insect communication.
- Know that the use of chemicals by insects to communicate, locate food, recognize other
insects, and as defense is an adaptation.
- Be familiar with the experimental method.
- Be able to observe carefully and share observations with other students.
- Be able ask creative questions about what they observe.
Further Questions and Activities for Motivated Students
Compare sand-dwelling animals of the Florida scrub with animals that live in some of the
great deserts of the earth, such as the Sahara and Kalahari deserts of Africa, the Gobi
Desert in Asia, etc. Make a list of some of the similarities and differences between the
animals of these great deserts and the animals of the scrub.