Resources & Information For Teachers

Ant Education

Learn about ants; their diversity, distribution and diet in Australia, and their role in nature as well as in our everyday lives.

School of Ants is a great environmental education initiative for Australian citizens, immersing them in the natural world to learn about ants in your immediate vicinity. So much of our understanding about our world is based on ecosystems and places far from our urban spaces, but right underneath your feet are wonderfully complex assemblages of little things that run the world. Ants play important roles as waste and pest managers, soil engineers and nutrient recyclers in our cities and towns. Get to know the species that are helping you.

Engaging in and contributing to the science, collecting data and tracking ants, Australian citizens and school students can help answer big ecological questions we all we as their own burning questions, and broaden their world to insects, the most abundant creatures in the world, and those we could not live without.

Code of Conduct and Research Ethics

Our Code of Conduct tackles the ethics of using invertebrates in research and education. It is a topic not often brought up in schools or every day life for that matter!

If you’re a participant in the School of Ants project, you might find yourself with questions about collecting methods. Please read our Code of Conduct, which aims to provide guidelines to participants, but also briefly explain why killing some worker ants for research might be OK. We also direct you to further information about using animals in research if you would like to know more.

We welcome your feedback on any ethical issues you have about collecting insects for citizen science projects. Please email us at

Download the Code Of Conduct

Teaching Resources

Lesson plans & classroom ideas

Welcome letter

A letter from us to you – congratulations on becoming a citizen scientist!

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Plans & ideas for 3 lessons

Base 3 lessons around a School of Ants collection. Here’s some ideas on how you might do it

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Literacy & creative activities

Ant Crossword

A myrmecological crossword

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fANTastic ANT words

fANTastic ANT words

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Ant Find-A-Word

Find ANT Words

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Ant writing prompts

Need some inspiration for starting an ANT story? Try these..

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Creative bilateral symmetry

Here’s half an ant!  Choose your symmetry for the other half!

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Numeracy activities

ANT collection datasheet

Use this to do your School of Ants collection

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An ANT maths puzzle

Challenging ANT puzzle by Rob Eastaway (UK)

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Classification activities & resources

Observe, Describe, Classify

Group your ANTS by morphospecies using this simple table

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Simple Biological Classification hierarchy

King Phillip Came Over For Good Spaghetti. Easy acronym to remember classification hierarchy, with example using Australian Meat Ants.

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Video Resources

The guys from Australian Ant Art casting a full Meat Ant (Iridomyrmex purpureus) nest. Just imagine the magnitude of interactions, nutrient cycling and oxygen exchange going on down there in that amazing network of tunnels and chambers.

Why does ant diversity matter? Video by ANT COURSE featuring expert researchers' experiences and perceptions on why it matters. Ant Course coming to Australia in 2017!

Trap jaw ants (Odontomachus spp.) use their long mandibles to propel themselves backward away from enemies. Check out this amazing slo-mo video of them doing it! In case you're wondering, trap jaw ants live in Australia!

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