Science KS2: Inside an ant colony

Detailed, close up images of leafcutter ants clearly show three different parts to their body, the head, thorax and abdomen and six legs demonstrating that an ant is an insect.

Ants are invertebrates - we have a spine or backbone but invertebrates do not. Like humans though, they do need certain things to stay alive, namely water, food, air and somewhere to live.

Ants live underground in colonies rather like humans live in families.

Each ant has a different job in the colony.

The most important ant is the queen whose job it is to lay the eggs that hatch into the next generation of ants and there are many different types of worker ants.

All the different kinds of ant work together as a group to keep the colony alive.

This clip is from the series Life on Planet Ant.

Teacher Notes

Could be used for children researching what defines an insect.

The clip could be paused after asking "Can you think of any more insects?" before gathering children’s responses.

The class could try working on a task collectively to see if they can be as organised and work as well together as the ants.

Pictures showing the different types of ants from the clip could be gathered and pupils could make masks for different ant roles and perform drama for each of their tasks.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Science/Biology at KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 2nd Level in Scotland.

More from Life on Planet Ant

How ants communicate
Why are ants different sizes?
How to build a mini ant nest
Life cycle of an ant
What ants eat and what eats ants