Topic 100’s Day (100 Hungry Ants)
Subject Math
Grades Second Grade
Overview: On 100’s Day I read the book 100 Hungry Ants by Elinor J. Pinzces to the class. As we read the book, I pointed out the theme of teamwork and how the littlest ant had such great ideas to help the ants achieve their goal of getting to the picnic as fast as they could. At the end of the book, though, there is a twist or perhaps an unforeseen consequence.  When the ants finally get to the picnic, all the food is gone and they “blame” the creative littlest ant for coming up with so many different ways of traveling to the picnic.  They think that because they tried so many different marching formations, it slowed the team down, and they blame him for how things end up.  We had much discussion about whether the creative littlest ant was to blame when he was just trying his best to come up with the fastest way for the 100 ants to march to the picnic.  Most understood that the ant team should learn from what happened so they might do things differently next time they go to a picnic. The students shared their ideas on what the ant team could do the next time they go to a picnic. We also discussed how the other team members could have thought ahead and predicted that changing formations so many times might have slowed things down. You can use the Fixes that Backfire archetype as a visual to help facilitate the discussion. Then, the students made as many “marching formations” as they could come up with on their desks using a cup of 100 cheerios for ants.  (Example:  5 rows of 5 ants for 25 ants, etc.)
ST Concepts & Habits Habits of a systems thinker:

  • recognizes that a system’s structure generates its behavior
  • considers both short and long-term consequences of actions
  • checks results and changes actions if needed: “Successive  Approximation”
ST Tools Archetype

  • Fixes that Backfire Archetype
Standards Math:  Operations  (Builds arrays to show understanding of multiplication problems.)
 Social Studies:  Democratic Society

Implemented by: Linda Bubon

Submitted by: Linda Bubon

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