The Tiny Teacher – Question: The story of an ant’s life sounds almost untrue. The italicized phrase means
- highly exaggerated.
- too remarkable to be true.
- not based on facts.
- 1. highly exaggerated.
Question: Complete the following sentences.
- An ant is the smallest, _________________
- We know a number of facts about an ant’s life because _________________
- insect we have seen.
- people have kept the ants as pets and watched their behaviour closely.
Question: In what ways is an ant’s life peaceful?
Answer: The ants live in peace because each one does its share of work honestly, wisely and bravely. They don’t interfere in the work given to others. They never fight in their group.
- How long does it take for a grub to become a complete ant?
- Why do the worker ants carry the grubs about?
- What jobs are new ants trained for?
- Name some other creatures that live in anthills.
- Mention three things we can learn from the ‘tiny teacher’. Give reasons for choosing these items.
- The grubs take in three to six weeks to become cocoons and then to be a complete ant.
- The grubs are carried about daily for airing, exercise and sunshine.
- The new ants learn their duties from old ants as workers, soldiers, builders, cleaners, etc.
- Some other creatures that live in anthills are beetles, lesser breeds of ants and the open fly.
- We can learn from the tiny ants the lessons of hard work, sense of duty and discipline, cleanliness, loyalty and care for the young ones. These lessons are necessary for the happiness and smooth working of the society.
Discuss the following topics in groups.
- What problems are you likely to face if you keep ants as pets?
- When a group of bees finds nectar, it informs other bees of its location, quantity, etc. through dancing. Can you guess what ants communicate to their fellow ants by touching one another’s feelers?
- Keeping ants as pets is very uncommon or rare. The reason is that they don’t take orders. They follow their own rules. Above all, they bite and spoil the food.
- By touching one another’s feelers, the ants give message to others about new-found food.
Question: Complete the following poem with words from the box below. Then recite the poem.
Soldiers live in barracks
And birds in (1.) ___________________ ,
Much like a snake that rests
In a (2.) __________________ . No horse is able
To sleep except in a (3.) ____________________ .
And a dog lives well,
Mind you, only in a (4.) ____________________ .
To say ‘hi’ to an ant if you will,
You may have to climb an (5.) ____________________ .
hole, kennel, nests, anthill, stable
Question: Who looks after the grubs and how?
Answer: Soldiers and workers look after the grubs. Soldiers guard them. Workers feed and clean them, and also carry them about daily for airing, exercise and sunshine.
Question: How much time do grubs take for becoming cocoons? What do the cocoons do after that?
Answer: Grubs take two or three weeks for becoming cocoons. After that cocoons lie with- out-food or activity for three weeks more. Then they break and perfect ants appear.
Question: Why do ants want alien creatures to live in their nests?
Answer: Some give off smell pleasant to the ants’ senses; others give sweet juices; and some are just pets or playthings like cats and dogs to human beings.
The Tiny Teacher – Question: Why do the ants train the greenfly?
Answer: The greenfly is the ants’ cow. The ants train it to give honeydew (like milk) with a touch of their antennae. They milk it just as we milk the cow.
Question: What are the functions of feelers or antennae for an ant?
Answer: An ant uses its feelers or antennae to talk to other ants. It passes messages through them. It greets other ants by touching one another’s feelers.
Question: What do you know about worker ants?
The Tiny Teacher – Answer: Worker ants live in their reserved quarters. They search for food most of their time. They do only their own share of work.
Question: What do you know about the homes of the ants?
Answer: The homes of the ants are called ‘nests’ or ‘anthills’. Each nest has hundreds of little rooms and passages. The queen ant lays eggs in some of the rooms. Other rooms serve as nurseries for the gurbs ( young ants). Some rooms serve as store houses for food. Some rooms serve as reserved quarters for workers or barracks for soldiers. Cleaners also live in the nests.
The Tiny Teacher – Question: What do you know about the queen ant?
Answer: The queen ant is known as the ‘Mother Ant’. It has a pair of wings. It bites them off after its ‘wedding fight’. This fight takes place on a hot summer day. The queen leaves the nest and goes out to meet a male ant, or drone, high up in the air. On its return to earth, it gets rid of its wings and then does nothing but lay eggs.