102A. There’s an ANT in Every Giant: Find the ANT

Activity Name: Find the Ant

In “There’s an Ant in Every Giant”, Ant turns into “Giant” by adding the letters “Gi” to his name. There are many words that have the word “ant” in them. In this fun activity, children listen for the hidden “ant” in different words.

Related Episode: 102 A. There’s an Ant in Every Giant.
Age Range: 3-5
Skills: Identifying Words within Words; Listening Skills.
Subjects: Literacy and Language Development.


  • One printout of the WordFriend™ Ant (see Appendix for a picture of WordFriend Ant).
  • Scissors.
  • Create “Find the Ant” word cards by writing several words that have “ant” in them on small cards (e.g. giant, antenna, plant, etc.). Also create several cards that do NOT include “ant” (e.g. shirt, lion, house, etc.). These will be mixed together for the game.
  • A small bag (or a hat or open box).


  1. Place Ant WordFriend on the ground so that you can clearly see him.
  2. Move back, so that you and your child (and other players) are standing at least 15 feet away from Ant. (Make sure that everyone can see the word right side up, from left to right).
  3. Place the word cards you’ve made in the bag. Mix up the cards.
  4. Take turns with your child, and anyone else who is playing, to pick out a sheet of paper from the bag. Read each word out loud. If the word has “ant” in it, the player who pulled out the word moves forward one space. If the word doesn’t have “ant,” she stays still. If a child moves forward on a word without “ant”, have her go back to the spot where she started her turn. The game continues until everyone has reached Ant. Note: When saying an “ant” word, emphasize the “ant” part of the word, by saying it loudly and clearly.
  5. Play the game with some other small words (like “all” and “and”):
    • Getting Ready: Write down the small word (for example, “all” or “and”). Create more cards that have the word “all” or “and” in them, as well as words that don’t have these words in them. Here are some suggestions for words to use for “all” and “and”:
      • “all” words: basketball, baseball, tall, small, ball, call, overalls, mall, fall, hall, wall.
      • “and” words: candle, handle, sand, stand, handstand, understand, band, bandstand, candy, land, grand, hand.
    • Playing the Game: Repeat steps 1 to 3 in the section above. Instead of using the Ant WordFriend, put the new small word –”all” or “and” – on the ground. As your children play the game, have them listen for words with the new word in them (“all” or “and”). Note: For words that have the featured word two times like “handstand” and “bandstand” (which each have “and” two times), children can move ahead two spaces.

Take it Further:

  • Build an “ant” WordThing™ – Have your child make a WordThing with her favorite “ant” word. Write a word with “ant” in it, like “ant,” “antenna,” “pants,” “elephant,” etc. in big letters on a piece of construction paper or cardboard. (This works best with nouns, especially objects and animals.) Then have your child turn the word into a WordThing by drawing an outline of the object’s shape around it and decorating it by drawing, painting and/or pasting on objects (like pom poms, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, etc.).