II.C.1 Part Four-Compiling and Analyzing the Data

Materials needed:

Instructions for the teacher:
  1. The Class Data Worksheet can either be photocopied for each student or copied on the chalkboard or overhead projector.

  2. Use data sheets from Part Two to complete the tables in question #1 and #2 of the class data sheet.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Use Student Data Sheet #2 from Part Three to fill in the table in question #4 on the Class Data Worksheet.

Results
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.

IIC1-Part 1    Part 2    Part 3    Part 4
Student data sheet #1    Student data sheet #2    Class data sheet
Unit II. SAND-DWELLING ANIMALS
A. Ant Lions:    II.A.1
B. Scrub Burrowing Wolf Spiders:    II.B.1
C. Ants:     II.C.1   
D. Glossary    E. Questions for Student Evaluation