Science Sunday: Insect KWL chart


This is a simple thing to do. It’s not even really an experiment, just something to do before reading a fact book. We made a KWL chart. That stands for: What I KNOW, What I WANT to know, and What I LEARNED.

We did it on two different insects:

Here’s what my kids know about ants:

1. They bite Mommy.
2. They live in ant hills.
3. Ants bite people.
4. Ants eat bread, all kinds of food.
5. Ants eat princesses (that’s when they started getting silly).

Here’s what they want to know about ants:

Princess: How not to be bitten?
Superman: Are there good ants?
Batman: How to kill ants?

Here’s what they learned (the first two were done on a chart together, I’d show a picture but after we were done they drew their names all over the paper and were quite proud of themselves, this one I did one on one with each of them in a blank book)

Princess: Ants eat Mommy. They eat Daddy. They eat other ants. Ants live in ant piles. Boy ants have wings. The queen ant lays eggs.

Superman: Ants bite Mommy. Ants live in ant piles. They steal food from people. Ants live in food (one of the pages in the book we read was about an ant colony that was made inside a fruit of some kind). Ants eat leaves and lay eggs. They eat other ants. They eat flowers.

Batman: Ants eat other ants. They protect people from other bad ants. Ants bite people. There are black ants and yellow ants. Ants die (Batman is very interested in death right now and why people die). Ants lick other ants.

It’s very interesting to see what they absorbed from the books we read that day. I can see the origin of each fact from the book and how they interpreted it. They were all very interested in how ants protected themselves, and so they paid the most attention to that part. Princess was very interested in girl ants, so she made sure to mention about the queen.

I will say, it also took a lot of coaxing to get the information out of them. They were having much more fun filling out and coloring the worksheets I’d found.

And I leave you with Superman’s illustration of the night sky.


Here’s his description: These are stars, and that’s a sun, and this is the moon.

For more about Science Sunday and participating go here.

4 thoughts on “Science Sunday: Insect KWL chart

  1. It's a great idea. Maybe I should try to do a KWL chart on Christmas here. Batman and Anna would have a great time together discussing death topics. I am curious – how you help them distinguish K from L? I can see that Anna would be confused here unless the L done directly after some sort of event leading to learning new things.

  2. This was interesting, we've never tried a kwl chart before, it sounds like fun though. You should check out Tim Hawkins song about fire ants (he has a website, but you can find it on YouTube too) – I think your kids would really like it 🙂

  3. I love Batman's answers – how to kill ants, and ants eat other ants. He's a boy, no doubt about it! 🙂 You are so good about doing this kind of thing with them, I love that you even include the answers from when they were silly. 🙂

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