Truman's Aunt Farm {FI♥AR}

Truman sends in a coupon (a gift from his Aunt Fran) for an ant farm, but instead of ants, he gets aunts! He feeds and cares for them, watches them work and play, and finally finds homes for them. In the end, he and his very own Aunt Fran share a special day. 

Truman's Aunt Farm is such a cute book! And it seemed like a good choice after rowing The Salamander Room wherein we jumped to Sonlight Science A, Week 13 to cover amphibians, butterflies. . . and, you guessed it, insects! 

Along with our study of ants, we learned about aunts and other fun homophones (the FIAR manual incorrectly calls them homonyms), wrote a friendly letter to my sister, made ant hill cupcakes and had an Ant Picnic Party!

We harvested ants for our ant farm. It was a hair raising experience (literally!). Still gives me goose bumps, thinking about it. We even harvested the queen from the colony we found (in a bag of compost!). I was going to order ants, decided to go plant some zucchini and found the colony!

We were disappointed, however. The sole job of the ants was to protect the queen. It really was amazing! They formed a circle around her whenever they felt threatened. Once in the ant farm, they dug a hole, once again, solely for the purpose of protecting her! But, they would not dig any tunnels. 

So, we let them go after a couple weeks and ordered ants so that we could get ants in the mail, except that instead of aunts like Truman, we got ants. 

Harvester Ants.

After reading the warning that harvester ants BITE and seeing how fast they move, I didn't attempt to clean out the dead ants as suggested, but once most of them were dead, I cleaned them out and we have a special new nightlight to remember Truman's Aunt Farm. 

AntWorks Ant Farm

Ant Life Cycle Stages

Flying Creatures of the 5th Day Lesson 11: Social Insects ~ Ants


She wrote back a neat letter telling Malachi and Eliana what "aunt life" is like. :)
"First of all, being an Aunt is special because your mom is my sister . . ."
And we found out that Aunt Liz is going to be a grandma! Which led to writing another letter answering how that is so. Eliana said, "Because she is going to have babies. It's like having a baby sister or brother, and they are so cute." Then Malachi added, "Her KIDS are going to have babies!" Love that we got that down now. :)

Malachi addressed the envelope and wrote the first letter, signing it, "Love your ant loving nephew and niece.  But I let them narrate the second letter, signing the second one, "Love your aunt loving nephew and niece." Just like in the book. ;-)

We pronounce ant and aunt the same, but for the purpose of this book, I said /änt/ for aunt at the all the kids' insistence!

"Ant Hill" Cupcakes and Ant Picnic Party

I so wanted red gingham cupcake liners for our "picnic" and I found then on clearance! 

"Oooh, there are ants crawling up the spoon!"

She laughs and stirs some more. :) 

I had several "helpers" in the kitchen at once. . .

so after we got the sand on the cupcakes, 

I sent one boy to add mini chocolate chip ants, since I could not find the chocolate "ant" sprinkles ANYwhere!!!
(well, until the next day, of course! )

And I sent two kids to make an ant trail on the table.
(If I was really on top of it, I would have had them COUNT how many ants were in the package,
but I didn't think of it at the time!)

Ant Picnic Party
We had some traditional picnic foods (watermelon and chips) and of course. . . 

Little hot dogs, jelly sandwiches. . . 

a cute little girl who wants to be in the picture. . . :) 

and rice pudding. (What Truman feeds his aunts!)
but, no one would eat the rice pudding, not even me. :-/

Ant Picnic Napkins
(The pyramid fold is the perfect fold to hide unfinished seams!) 

Ant Hill Cupcakes 

They marched the ants "one by one."

The big ants are from an Insect Toob, (that I bought for our Salamander Room row)
 and the little ants I found on Amazon, thanks to Tamara

{chocolate covered raisins, of course!}

Red gingham pennant banner

Right after this shot, he gave me a thumbs up. :) 

Malachi reaching across the table to put the ketchup and mustard back "where they go!"
(He might get that from me.)

Truman's Aunt Farm is a Five in a Row selection from Volume 3.

Delightful Links:

ARKive Images of Ants {awesome images that we looked at!}
Spell Out Loud {Ant Observation Nature Journal}
All of a Kind Family's Row {Inspiration!}
Our Homeschool Fun's Row {Inspiration!}
Aussie Pumpkin Patch {lapbook and ideas}
Homophone Baseball {I had Malachi do this}