The Behavior of Ants
By David Shindelman
A Lesson for Middle School Classrooms
The primary goal of this lesson is for students to be
able to use the steps of the Scientific Method to independently develop
and test their own ideas through experimentation with ants. To accomplish
this goal, students take part in a four-part study of the behavior of
The main objectives of this activity are that students
will be able to:
- Use each step of the scientific method to answer a
scientific question that they pose.
- Determine that hypotheses are useful whether they turn
out to be true or not, since they may inspire other investigations.
- Demonstrate an understanding that the same data can
lead to different interpretations and conclusions and that different
interpretations and conclusions are not necessarily wrong, but can be
useful in developing other scientific questions.
- Design experiments where students understand and control
variables, and which include experimental controls.
- Understand that organisms interact in a variety of
ways which can be beneficial or detrimental to either or both organisms.
- Collect data in an honest, accurate, and clear fashion
as is practiced in the scientific community.
- Find sources of information from a variety of conventional
and modern databases.
- Analyze their data sets using simple statistical tools
and organize their data in tables and graphs.
- Present their findings orally and visually in a clear,
- Learn aspects of ant behavior and anatomy.
- Observe and understand predator/prey interactions.
- See that environmental conditions affect ants physiologically.
- Understand the trophic interactions of ants.
- Cooperate with other students in completing the activity.
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