First Workshop: Drawing the Ant Trail


To understand the behavior of insects as part of the xook k'iin reading, the children explored topics such as the diversity of ant varieties, their social organization, the structure of an ant hill, the ways they communicate, the relationship between mycorrhizae fungi and ants, and their role as guardians of a variety of plants. The children used logbooks to record their week-long observations with words and drawings. The xook k'iin is an ecological practice that has been passed down for generations, mainly orally. The workshop therefor also included an exchange with elders on it.

Second Workshop: Step by Step


Children that participated in this workshop practiced observing and listening to nature closely and patiently to better understand the ant and its behavior. Equipped with magnifying glasses, they examined the ants' anatomy and movements and created drawings. The children listened to audio recordings of ants and other insects, learning to identify similar and unique sounds. The listening sessions included an intervention by musician Oksana Bila on the sounds of nature and playful ways of imitating sounds with different instruments. It also included making drawings of sounds and a dance, interpreting the social behavior of the ant.

Third Workshop: How Do Ants Communicate?

The movements of ants change depending on temperature changes - a phenomenon that is observed as part of the xook k'iin. To mediate the experience of how ants communicate despite their limited vision, the children were given masks and formed groups that followed different smells. The children then drew mental maps of their ways home, while imagining that they were navigating this route as ants and imagining how different weather conditions would affect their journey. The children recreated different scenarios and reactions of the ant by acting out the situations in front of an imaginary anthill. While some children acted out the parts of the wind, rain, and sun, the rest imitated the ants’ movements in response to the different weather situations.

The paths of the ants
Cecilia Moo
Ant research logbooks
Cecilia Moo
The ants and their surroundings
Cecilia Moo
Ant research logbook
Cecilia Moo
Observing ants with magnifying glases
Cecilia Moo
Describing the workshops
Cecilia Moo
Seeing like an ant
Cecilia Moo


Lucía Sharedi Alejo Chi , Oded Sofía Alejo Chi , Rocío Bárcenas , Kateryna Bila , Oksana Bila , Ramón Casanova Chi , Gedher Edith Cervera Angulo , Jadive Jesarela Chi Valdez , Luna Gabriela Chi Valdez , Arlet Alejandra Cruz Chi , Luis Gadiel Dorantes Martin , Jesús Emmanuel May Clemente , Octavio Emmanuel Medina Angulo , Yaneysi Giovaba Medina Chi , Irayde Athenea Medina Santiago , Cecilia Moo


This text is an edited and shortened version of Cecilia Moo´s description of the workshop.
The edits have been made by Marco Clausen.