This unit is like so many others, once you get started planning for it,  you realize all the different directions it can take you.  If you're interested in having a Teddy Bear Picnic, you can include bears in the unit; you can include watermelons, ants, insects, bees, the 4 food groups, or places you could go to picnic such as the park, the zoo, the beach, etc.   So I hope you enjoy this unit and have some FUN!  How could you not?



Coordinating Units at The Virtual Vine

Wild About Watermelons Busy, Busy Bees Spring
Bears May - Summer


Bulletin Boards & Displays

What's In Your Picnic Basket? - I recently purchased a couple of very thin plastic red and white checked tablecloths at Wal-Mart for $1 each.  They're made by Dixie.  I'm going to use them as the background for my bulletin board.  I'm going to make the border myself using white napkins folded into triangles and red plastic spoons and forks.  I'm going to staple the napkins around the edge of the bulletin board with the long side of the napkin to the edge (point to point).  Then across the open spaces between the napkins, I'm going to hotglue the spoons and forks in some, as of now, undetermined design.  Inside this border I'll have a large cut-out picnic basket and red paper plates, red plastic forks/spoons, white napkins, etc., and have the children make large ants from cardboard egg cartons (see Creation Station below for directions).  These will be scattered around our picnic site.  I'll have the children take a plate and cut out 3 things from magazines that they'd like to take on a picnic to eat and glue these on their plate.  We can also make watermelon slices from paper plates and add them around the picnic site as well.  When I actually get this done, I'll post a picture.


click on image to enlarge


8.4.04 The bulletin board turned out precious!!!  Can't wait to see the ants up there!


An alternative to making the egg carton ants would be to make a TLC style ant or an ant from an ant pattern.


Bulletin Board captions:

(grade level) was a picnic!

(grade level) is a picnic!

You will have a picnic in (grade level)!

This year will be a picnic!



You can use these words along with pictures for a Thematic Word Wall.  The Old MacDonald's Farm page has a good example of a Thematic Word Wall if you're not familiar with them.  You may notice that I only put singular nouns the majority of the time.  We use this to introduce/discuss/reinforce making words plural by adding s (most of the time, or whatever is necessary).


picnic basket food blanket tablecloth ant chicken sandwich
cookie juice ice mother father brother sister baby
grass hamburger grill hotdog sun swing baseball chips
pickle napkin spoon fork knife plate cup brownies
potato salad cooler Coke tree playground beach park meadow
flower bee butterfly fly bug cricket grasshopper caterpillar
net worm lake pond run tan sunglasses hat
watermelon red white green sky blue yellow zoo



Work Stations

I'm starting Work Stations (from Debbie Diller's book, Literacy Work Stations) this year and I'd like to have at least one theme related activity in each station.  I've talked with other teachers who are going to do this as well.  So now I need to plan for this in my units to aid in preparing my lesson plans.  As you can see, I've still got some "holes in the plan", so if you have any suggestions for those areas for this theme, send me an email with your idea.  The email icon is at the bottom of the page.  Have ideas about something else?  Send me an email! :)  I love to get email from the visitors.


Big Book Station -

*enlarge teacher-made emergent readers to make Big Books:  Packing For a Picnic, and The Ants Go Marching


Drama Station -

*provide a blanket or tablecloth, picnic basket, paper plates, plastic cups, forks, spoons, paper napkins, plastic ants, pretend food, and stuffed bears for students to use in retelling or creating their own picnic stories


*provide a picnic basket and food items for the flannelboard


*provide "wiggly boppers" or student-made antenna headbands for students to pretend they're in an ant colony


ABC Station-

*program basket picture cards with either capital or lowercase letters for students to sequence


*use picnic basket picture cards programmed with capital letters and food picture cards programmed with lowercase letters.  Students will match capital to lowercase letters or sequence letters.  I made these on the computer, printed on cardstock and laminated.




*program small colored paperplates with a capital letter Ellison cut-out and program color coordinating plastic Solo cups with a lowercase Ellison cut-out.  Students will match capital to lowercase letters or sequence letters.


*program plastic forks with capital letters and spoons with lowercase letters using colorful Sharpies.  Students match capital to lowercase letters or sequence letters.


*program picnic basket picture cards with beginning sound letters.  Provide food picture cards for students to match to the correct beginning sound. (a=apple, b=banana, c=corn, d=donut, e=egg, f= _, g=_, h=hamburger, i=_, j=Jello, k=Kit Kats, l=lemonade, m=milk, n=noodles, o=orange (?), p=pickle, q=_, r=raisins, s=sandwich, t=tea, u=_, v=vegetables, w=_, y=yam, z=Zebras (Little Debbie snack cake)


*program a basket with the letter P and have students sort pretend food items or food picture cards into the basket if they begin with the /p/ sound.


*Sound Match: match pictures of: sandwich, basket, napkin, cookies, pickle, watermelon, fork, juice box, lemonade, hamburger to correct beginning sound card programmed on ant picture card.


*program basket picture cards with capital letter and sandwich picture cards with lowercase letters for students to match


*cut sandwich picture cards in halves or quarters and program each piece with a capital or lowercase letter for students to match


* Letter A: provide each student with a large A and have them make fingerprints on it, then add legs to make ants.


Word Study Station -

*provide picnic vocabulary words on sentence strips and have students make the words on the sentence strip using magnetic letters (the sentence strips can be placed on a table or on a magnetic surface)


*Sound Match - match pictures of blanket, chips, spoon, glass, grapes, chicken to correct beginning sound programmed on ant picture card


*ABC Order - program picture cards with the correct word for students to sequence in ABC order.  Picture cards/words; use list from ABC Station.  ABC order can consist of providing the alphabet and letting students categorize the words according to first letter, or actually putting the words in ABC order according to their first or second letter using their working knowledge of the ABC sequence.


*Color Words - have students match cups programmed with color words to the appropriate color colored plate.


click on image to enlarge


*use sandwich picture cards cut in half for matching up compound words [hot][dog], rhyming words, synonyms, antonyms, etc.


Overhead Station -

*make transparency for  The Ants Go Marching and have students practice reading with a pointer and circling their sight words with a Vis-a-Via pen

*"Ants On A Picnic" poem

*"Ants" poem


Pocketcharts Station -

*text for The Ants Go Marching with matching word cards so that students may read the text and match the word cards to the words in the text


*Ants On A Picnic

Ants on a picnic.

Ants on a tree.

Ants on candy.

Ants on me!

~ Author Unknown



1 ant, 2 ants, 3 and 4,

Our picnic is their grocery store.

5 ants, 6 ants, 7 ants, 8,

They are crawling on my plate!


8 ants, 7 ants,

Stomp around.

6 ants, 5 ants,

On the ground.


4 ants, 3 ants,

On the run.

2 ants, 1 ant,

No more fun!

~ Authur Unknown


Note: you can also change the numbers in the poem to number words to reinforce a different skill


*The Ant Hill

Once I saw an ant hill  (hold hands in fist)

With no ants about.   (shake head)

So I said, "Dear little ants,  (look at fist)

Won't you please come out?"

Then as if the ants

Had heard my call,  (hold hands to ear)

One, two, three, four, five came out,  (hold fingers up one at a time)

And that was all.  (close fist again)

~ Author Unknown


Creation Station -

*Ant: create ant from ant pattern


*Ant: paint egg carton ant: Each student will need 3 attached "cups" of a cardboard egg carton to represent the ants 3 body parts - head, abdomen, thorax..  They will paint the carton black (or you could use dark brown or dark reddish brown) and then add black pipecleaners for antennae and wiggly eyes.



*Picnic Basket: create a picnic basket to use for snack time, as a story prop, or a story bit.  Provide each student with a strawberry basket, a brown pipecleaner, and strips of pre-cut brown paper.  Attach the pipecleaner to the top of the basket for a handle.  Students will use the brown paper to weave in and out of the holes of the basket.   After the basket is completed, you can add a paper napkin and a few cookies as a snack.


*Bookmarks: Use plastic spoons, forks, knives to create bookmarks.  Ribbon can be tied around the handle, faces added with Sharpie markers or paint pens, hair using yarn, twine, raffia, etc.  The kids can just let their imaginations go wild!


*Placemats: these placemats will make cute keepsakes if laminated.  Provide each student with a white piece of construction paper that has been divided into squares using a blackline grid.  Students will create an AB pattern on the grid using a red Bingo stamper.  The finished result should look similar to a red and white checked tablecloth.  Students will then use their fingerprints and a black stamp pad to create ants on the tablecloth.  Their thumbprint is done first for the thorax, then attached to that print they will place their index fingerprint for the abdomen, and then their pinky fingerprint for the head.  Then they'll use a fine point black marker or pen to make two antennae on the head, and three legs protruding from the abdomen on each side of the body.  If done on a very large scale and whole class worked on one cloth, this could be used as a background for a bulletin board.


*Headbands: make ant headbands from brown strips of construction paper and brown or black pipecleaners.  Fit construction paper strips to head and staple.  Glue or staple on two pipecleaners that have been curled on the end.


*Student is provided a picture of an ant hill on construction paper or they may draw their own.  They will color and cut out the ant hill, then cover it with glue and sprinkle sand on it.  Before the sand dries, they should take a straw and tunnel away some of the sand, creating "ant tunnels."  Glue on plastic ants.


*Provide students with a basket copied onto construction paper or cardstock. The student will color and cut out the basket, cut pictures from a magazine of food items they would like to "pack in their basket".  Then they are to glue the pictures onto the basket.


Writing Station -

*Draw a picture of an ant hill or picnic site and add fingerprint ants.  Write about the picture.

*Letter A handwriting sheet

*Letter P handwriting sheet


Listening Station -

*The Ant Bully - John Nickle


Reading Station -

*All books will be read to the students prior to being placed in the Reading Station for them to read and explore.  Add a blanket or tablecloth, sunglasses with lens removed, and place books in a picnic basket to add a "picnic ambiance" to this station.   I do not own all these books.  This is just a list of possibilities for the unit.


I Can't Said the Ant - Polly Cameron

One Hundred Hungry Ants - Elinor J. Pinczes

Two Bad Ants - Chris Van Allsburg

Ant Cities - Authur Dorros

Picnic Farm - Christine Morton

The Picnic - Ruth Brown

Up the Ladder, Down the Slide - Betsy Everitt

Hey, Little Ant ~ Phillip and Hannah Hoose

Ants Are Fun b ~ Mildred Myrick

The Little Ant ~ David Novak

Who Can't Follow an Ant? ~ Michael Pellowski

Armies of Ants  ~ Walter Retan

The Ants Go Marching ~ Jeffrey Scherer

Are You An Ant? ~ Judy Allen

Ant (Bug Book) ~ Karen Hartley
The Ant and the Elephant ~ Bill Peet
The 512 Ants on Sullivan Street ~ Carol A. Losi
If I Were an Ant ~ Amy Moses
Inside an Ant Colony ~ Allan Fowler
The Little Red Ant and the Great Big Crumb
A Remainder of One ~ Elinor Pinczes
The World of Ants ~ Melvin Berger

The Giant Jam Sandwich ~ John Vernon Lloyd

Mimi and the Picnic ~ Martin Waddell
Teddy Bear's Picnic ~ Jimmy Kennedy

The Bear

Pack A Picnic (CTP)

The Nursery Rhyme Picnic (Wright Group)

Book Box Station - teacher-made emergent readers: Packing For a Picnic, and The Ants Go Marching


Reading Tub Station -



Discovery Station -

*ant hill with live ants (purchased); students can observe and write or draw about their observations


Computer Station -



Puzzles/Games Station -

*Picnic Memory Match: I made this game on the computer, printed on cardstock and laminated.



Fine Motor -

*trace an ant picture

*color "Aa is for Ant"


Songs & Poems

Lemons and Lemonade

Lemons and lemonade,
Sour and sweet.
Look who's sitting in this
Kindergarten seat.
Me! Me! Me! Me! Me!

~ Jacqueline Margraf

Wading River School

Wading River, NY



Lemonade, lemonade,

Tangy and sweet!

Who's in the class

For us to meet?

~ Mary


*the poems above were written as an introduction to their kindergarten class


Who Stole the Sandwiches From the Picnic Basket?

use the format from Who Stole the Cookies From the Cookie Jar --- I can never remember the words, so if you'd like to share .. :)


Hotdogs Forever

Hotdogs for breakfast,

Hotdogs for lunch.



All in a bunch.


You can eat'em with mustard.

You can eat'em with cheese.

You can eat'em

Any way you please.


Eat'em from the bar-b-q.

Eat'em from the pot.

Eat'em cold, or

Eat'em hot.

Eat'em standing up,

Or down on your knees.




Please! Please! Please!

~ Author Unknown


Ants Live Here

Ants live here

By the curb side,


They worry a lot

about giants like


~ Author Unknown


The Ants Go Marching In

*setup: put the class in a large circle.  Have them march around in the circle as they sing.  Older students can divide up into groups like the song as they sing along (marching two by two, three x three, etc.)  The person(s) who can't get into a group sits out.  For instance if they're walking three x three, all groups must have exactly 3 people.  Extras have to sit. 


The ants came marching two by two.  Hurrah!  Hurrah!

The ants came marching two by two.  Hurrah!  Hurrah!

The little one stopped to tie his shoe.

They all go marching down, around, the town.

Boom, boom, boom.


- continue singing the same verse, but change it to:


The ants came marching three by three

The little one stopped to climb a tree.


The ants came marching four by four

The little one stopped to shut the door.


The ants came marching five by five

The little one stopped to take a dive.


The ants came marching six by six

The little one stopped to pick up sticks.


The ants came marching seven by seven

The little one stopped to go to heaven.


The ants came marching eight by eight

The little one stopped to shut the gate.


The ants came marching nine by nine

The little one stopped to scratch his spine.


The ants came marching ten by ten

The little one stopped to say THE END!

~ Author Unknown


Here's a different version of the same song ....


The Ants Go Marching

The ants go marching one by one,
Hoorah, hoorah!
The ants go marching one by one,
Hoorah, hoorah!
The ants go marching one by one,
The little one stops to suck his thumb.
And they all go marching,
Down to the ground,
To get out of the rain.
Boom Boom Boom.

The ants go marching two by two,
Hoorah, hoorah!
The ants go marching two by two,
Hoorah, hoorah!
The ants go marching two by two,
The little one stops to tie his shoe.
And they all go marching,

Down to the ground,
To get out of the rain.
Boom Boom Boom.

The ants go marching three by three,
Hoorah, hoorah!
The ants go marching three by three,
Hoorah, hoorah!
The ants go marching three by three,
The little one stops cause he skinned his knee.
And they all go marching,
Down to the ground,
To get out of the rain.
Boom Boom Boom.

The ants go marching four by four,
Hoorah, hoorah!
The ants go marching four by four,
Hoorah, hoorah!
The ants go marching four by four,
The little one stops to shut the door.
And they all go marching,
Down to the ground,
To get out of the rain.
Boom Boom Boom.

Additional Verses
Five by five: Stops to see the bee hive
Six by six: Picks up sticks
Seven by seven: prays to heaven
Eight by eight: closes the gate
Nine by nine: starts to whine
Ten by ten: starts all over again

~ Author Unknown


Ant Chant

Left and right, left and right,

Ants work hard all day and night.

Left and right, left and right,

Don't get left, just step right.

~ Author Unknown


Ants, Ants

Ants, ants
Rushing here,
Rushing there.
Carrying treasures
To their nest.
Never stopping
For a rest.
Ants, Ants,
Here and there.

Hurrying and scurrying

~ Author Unknown


When the Ants Go Marching In

(tune: When the Saints Go Marching In)

Oh when the ants,
Go marching in.
Oh when the ants go marching in.
How I want
To be in that number.
When the ants go marching in.

~ Author Unknown


*students can march around the room while singing this song

Never Squash An Ant
(tune: Row, Row, Row, Your Boat)

Never, never squash an ant.
There mother nature's friends.
Catch one in a plastic jar,
Then let it go again.

~ Author Unknown

The Teddy Bears' Picnic
If you go down in the woods today
You're sure of a big surprise.
If you go down in the woods today
You'd better go in disguise.
For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain because,
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

Picnic time for teddy bears
The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today
Watch them catch them unawares
And see them picnic on their holiday
See them gaily gad about
They love to play and shout,
They never have any cares
At six o'clock their Mommies and Daddies
Will take them home to bed
Because they're tired little teddy bears.
Every teddy bear who's been good
Is sure of a treat today
There's lots of marvelous things to eat
And wonderful games to play
Beneath the trees where nobody sees
They'll hide and seek as long as they please
'Cause that's the way the teddy bears have their picnic.

~ Author Unknown


Let's Pretend
Let's pretend we're having fun

At a picnic everyone.

Then some picnic pets come ' round.

Birds that flutter to the ground.
Crickets who can jump so funny,

And a wiggly little bunny.
Butterflies on lazy wings,

Squirrels, and lots of other things!
Let's pretend that we are all

Picnic pets who've come to call.

~ Author Unknown


Going On A Picnic
Going on a picnic,
Leaving right away.
If it doesn't rain,
We'll stay all day.
Did you bring the (sandwiches)?
Yes, we brought the (sandwiches).
Did you bring the (sandwiches)?
Yes, we brought the (sandwiches).
Going on a picnic,

Here we go!

~ Author Unknown


*use this in a pocketchart and you can change the food item each time you start a new verse by using a picture icon


Another version ...


Goin' on a picnic,
Leaving right away.
If it doesn't rain
We'll stay all day.
Do you want some ______?
Yes I want some ____.
Here we go.


(tune of Jingle Bells)
Dashing through the store
In a happy sort of mood.
Filling up our cart
With yummy picnic food.
We’re going to the park
With coolers packed up tight.
What fun it is to plan a day
Of picnicking outside.

Picnic day
Picnic day
Picnic all the way!
Lay a blanket, toss a ball.
Picnic all the day, hey

Picnic day
Picnic day
Picnic all the way!
Throw a frisbee, eat a lot
And picnic all the day.

~ Author Unknown



(tune: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
Picnics are a lot of fun.
In the nice, warm summer sun.
We can bring good things to eat.
Watermelon what a treat!
Picnics are a lot of fun.
Come on now, let’s go on one.

~ Author Unknown

*replace underlined word with other picnic food names or


(tune: She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain)

Oh, we’re going on a picnic.
Want to come?
Oh, we’re going on a picnic.
Want to come?
Oh, we’re going on a picnic.
And it’s going to be terrific.
Oh, we’re going on a picnic.
Want to come?

~ Author Unknown



Literacy Activities

Math Activities

*Ant Hills: Provide each student with a predrawn ant hill (or have them draw their own) on manilla or tan paper.  Cutting it out is optional.  Each ant hill can be pre-programmed with a number or have the students choose a number and write it on their ant hill with a black crayon.  Using a black stamp pad, students will use their pinky finger to add enough "ants" to their ant hill to match the number.  Use a pencil, black pen or crayon, or fine point marker to add 3 legs to the side of each ant's body.

*Ant Hill Counting Mats: Make ant hill math mats and program with a number.  Laminate.  Students count the correct number of plastic ants or raisins onto the mats.

*Math Story Mats: Create a math mat for each student resembling a picnic place setting.  (red/white checked cloth, paperplate, fork, napkin, cup)  Laminate.  Create math story problems on index cards for addition and subtraction.  Laminate.  To use, choose a card and read the problem.  As you read, students will create the problem on their mat using ants (plastic, black buttons, beans painted black or raisins). 

Ex.  Jason finished his sandwich and went off to play.  Two ants crawled onto his plate to see if he left anything for them.  Then two more ants crawled up to see if he left anything for them.  How many ants were on Jason's plate?  (Each student would have places 2 "ants" on their mat, and then placed 2 more ants on their mat.  At the end of the story problem, they would have 4 ants on their plate.)

*Graphing: Graph students' favorite place to go for a picnic (beach, zoo, park, backyard, lake)

*Paper Plate Counting: Program paper plates with an Ellison die-cut number. Students count the correct number of plastic ants, black buttons, raisins, cookies, etc. into the plate.

*Graphing: Graph students' favorite kind of sandwich, chips, beverage

*Paper Plate Math Mats:  Quick and easy math mats can be made using one or two paper plates.  No cutting or lamination required!

*Watermelon Counting Mats: stop by Wild About Watermelons to see a picture and getting instructions for this activity.

*One-to-One Correspondence: Let your students set up a picnic site using plates, napkins, forks, spoons, knives, and cups.  Each place setting should have one of each.  If you have enough of the same items, you could even throw in some pretend food.

*Sandwich Fractions: Use real or picture card sandwiches to teach: whole, half, quarter.  Don't forget to show that you can cut vertically, horizontally, or diagonally to divide the sandwich into equal pieces.

*Nonstandard Measurement: Use plastic ants to teach nonstandard measurement by having students measure how many ants long their pencil is, how wide their desk is, etc. and recording their answer on a response form.    pencil = ___ ants

*Estimation: Have students estimate how plastic ants it would take to cover a slice of bread.  Record their estimates.  Then provide each with a slice of bread and plastic ants to see who had the correct/closest estimation.  (You might want to do this as a group rather than individually)

*Volume: Use yellow tinted water (lemonade) to explore and teach volume.  Experiment pouring the water into different sized containers and discuss the results.  Have students sequence the containers largest to smallest and vice-versa.

*Forking Up Addition & Subtraction Facts: Program plastic spoons and forks with numbers using a Sharpie marker.  Create multiple cards programmed with plus (+) , take away (-) and equal to (=) signs.  Laminate the cards.  Students will use the spoons, forks and cards to create addition and subtraction facts.  Then they will search for the correct answer on plastic knives that have also been programmed with numbers using a Sharpie marker.  When they create a correct addition or subtraction fact ( 6[spoon] + 4[fork] = 10[knife] ) they write it on a fact sheet to be checked later.

An alternative activity would be to create placemats programmed with the mathematical signs (+, -, =) instead of using the laminated cards.  The students would place the spoon, fork, knife in the correct place on the mat and record their fact on their fact sheet.

*Too Many Ants!: Create half page booklets ahead of time with text that reads pg 1 - 1 ant, pg 2 - 2 ants, etc.  Students create the correct number of ants on each page using black fingerprints.  When dry, they can go back and add legs.  More advanced students can have their booklets programmed with number words instead of numbers, or addition facts.  Subtraction facts can also be done by Xing out the number that needs to be taken away.

*Graphing: After being read a book on real ants, graph which ant the students would rather be - queen, worker, guard.

*Graphing Manipulatives: I just remembered that I have a box of small plastic fruits that either came from Dollar Tree or Lakeshore (I kinda think Lakeshore). They also have graphing mats.  Students graph the fruits onto the mats.

*Sorting: Use the plastic fruit from above and have students sort into different fruit categories. [grapes, bananas, etc.]

*Kiddie Kritters: I was forced to go to Wal-Mart today, and to reward me, I found these neat little things.  Back by the Hefty Zoo Pals, they had containers of Dixie Kiddie Kritters.  They are primary colored plastic spoons and forks that can be used for sorting and patterning.  So I bought 2 containers .. less than $4 for both.  You could also use them to teach nonstandard measurement as well. 

click on images to enlarge


*One-to-One Correspondence or Number Sequencing: Use the border strip from the Marching To a Picnic activity below along with clothespins.  For one-to-one correspondence, have students clip a clothespin on each ant.  For number sequencing, program each clothespin with a number 1 - 12.  Students clip the clothespins on the ants in the correct sequence.


*Ants On a Log - provide large, straight pretzels (log), cream cheese or peanut butter (mud), and raisins (ants).  Students spread cream cheese or peanut butter on the pretzel and stick on raisins.  Voila!  Ants on a log!

~Note: you can use celery for the "log."  Ewww! :(~

*Sandwiches - after graphing students favorite kind of sandwich, provide the fixings for the top two or three choices and let students create their own sandwiches.

*Mini Hamburgers - these are some of the cutest hamburgers I've ever seen!  Just precious!  I have a picture "somewhere" if I can ever find them.  Provide each student with two vanilla wafers (the bun), white frosting or whipped cream cheese (mayo), yellow frosting (mustard), red frosting (ketchup), a thin mint cookie (meat), and grated coconut died with green food coloring (lettuce).  Have them put them all together and it looks just like a mini hamburger! Sequence: vanilla wafer upside-down, spread with yellow frosting, top with mint cookie, spread with red frosting, top with coconut.  Spread white frosting on flat side of remaining vanilla wafer and place on top of coconut.  Voila!  Sorry Texas teachers, this isn't for you. :(

*Lemonade - Make some lemonade! :)  You can do it the old fashioned way by rolling and squeezing the lemons, or you can do it the new fangled way and use Minute Maid!   Just follow the directions on the canister.

*Watermelon - if it's in season, have some watermelon!  Afterwards you can count the seeds, plant the seeds, or even have a watermelon seed spitting contest! :) 

*Edible Anthills - give each student a graham cracker in a ziploc bag.  Have them crush the cracker making sure they don't puncture their bag.  When the cracker resembles dirt, add chocolate chips or raisins for ants.

*P Picnic - have a mini picnic and serve only "P" foods: pickles, pie, pumpkin pie, peanut butter, pineapple, pineapple juice, potato chips. potato sticks, pretzels, Pringles, pasta, pepperoni pizza, popcorn, pudding, peanuts, pancakes, plums


*Sandtable: Hide plastic ants, plastic food, plastic cup/plates/spoons (watch out for tongs on forks), pitcher in sandtable for students to find and use in their sand play.

*Marching Down the Picnic Trail: I went to the school supply store and bought almost one of everything they had to do with ants and picnics.  I bought all this stuff having no idea how I was going to use it.  :)  I bought two different kids of ant border, thinking I'd use at least one of them for the border on my bulletin board.  Aaaaaac! <buzzer sound>  That was before I decided to "create" my own border! :)  Anyway, long story shorter, I created this game using one of the borders that I purchased, matching name tags, Stickety Splits and one of the red plates.  The ant hill I created on my computer and printed on cardstock.  I'm going to have the border that's attached to the ant hill laminated, and then just add the plate on a spot of velcro so it can be removed for easier storing.

How you play the game - Each player starts at the ant hill (that's why it says START there! :) ) with a marker of some type.  I think we're going to use round, plastic, colored  disks.  They draw a game card from the stack.  If they can read the word, identify the letter, answer the addition fact or whatever, they get to move their marker one place (on top of the first ant).  Each student takes a turn and moves their marker down the "picnic trail" towards the plate.  The ants are the "stepping stones".  The first person to the plate wins!  I made the game cards using nametags that match the border and left them blank and then laminated them.  That way you can program them with a Vis-a-Via and change the skills as needed and you won't have to keep making new game cards.  The food on the plate is stickers called Stickety Splits.  They are sooo cute!  Thank you, Carol. :)  Oh, I added the letters to the sandwiches .. just stick on letters that I bought at Office Depot.

Note: There are 10 spaces to move on the picnic trail.  But for the sake of this picture, I moved the plate closer to the ant hill so that I could get a decent picture.


click on images to enlarge

*I'm Going On a Picnic: Have students sit in a circle.  You start with, "I'm going on a picnic and I'm going to bring an apple."  The first student must repeat, "I'm going on a picnic and I'm going to bring an apple and a banana.  The next student would repeat all and add an item that starts with a "c."  And it keeps going around the circle.  Each student has to repeat what was previously said plus add their own item with the appropriate beginning letter.

*Memory Game: Have students sit around a blanket or tablecloth.  Spread picnic items out on the tablecloth.  Have them take a close look, then close/cover their eyes.  Remove one item.  Have them take turns guessing what the missing item is.  Keep removing one item until they're all gone.

*Sorting: Provide students with a basket and picture cards of picnic vocabulary (it would be great if they match what's on your Thematic Word Wall).  Students will sort food items into the picnic basket.

*Culminating Activity: Of course a picnic is the perfect ending for this unit.  It won't matter to the children whether or not you carry the picnic on a field trip to the park, to the playground, or even the classroom floor .. they're guaranteed to have fun and you'll be providing a special memory of school as a fun place to grow and learn.

Allow the students to do all the work.  Send home notes to parents asking for their help in providing the things you'll need such as picnic baskets, blankets, tablecloths, paper plates and napkins, plastic cups, spoons, forks, food and beverages along with containers for them.  Ahead of time you can have the children make sandwiches, bake cookies, and prepare lemonade, so on the day of the picnic, all they have to do is pack the baskets and go!

After the food is gone, play Duck, Duck, Goose, throw frisbees, play ball, blow bubbles, play tag, fly kites, or play Red Light, Green Light.  What a perfect ending to a great unit! :)


Piggies Picnic - The Mailbox  K  Aug/Sept  1990

The Ants Are Marching - The Mailbox  K  Apr/May  2001

Picnic Unit & Burger Cookie recipe cards - The Mailbox  K  June/July  2000

Life In An Ant Colony class play - The Mailbox  Primary  June/July 2003

Math Is A Picnic - The Mailbox  Primary  June/July 2003

The Magic School Bus - Ants in You Pants

Draw It! (ant) - Fun With the Alphabet  Evan-Moor 1987

Picnic Plus (addition) - Teacher's Helper June/July 2004

Ants (dipthongs) - Teacher's Helper Apr/May/June 1999

I Can Make It! I Can Read It! - Summer  TEC3508

Ants All Around - The Mailbox April Idea Book  Preschool/Kindergarten  TEC 248

Ant Homes Under the Ground  - J. Echols, K. Hosoume, J. Kopp

The Mailbox  Preschool/Kindergarten May Idea Book



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scripts 7.14.04

last updated 1.21.06


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