One of my favorite lessons this year came from the book Hey Little Ant. Posted on the board was the icebreaker for the day’s class, “Is it okay to step on an ant? Why or why not?” After some very lively discussion, the words
perspective and ethics were introduced. The story has two main characters, the little boy who wants to squish the ant, and the ant who does not wish to be squished and argues that ants are creatures that should be respected. After an initial reading and reviewing vocabulary, students worked with partners and reread the story, increasing their ability to read fluently, with purpose and understanding, as well as maximize participation (interaction). We also as a class sang the story with the boy and the ant answering each other. The teachers were then given the task to decide whether the boy should squish or save the ant. They had to come up with three reasons to support their decision (comprehension and thinking skills), complete a graphic organizer, and write an essay supporting their decision, using a topic sentence, three pieces of evidence/supporting details, and a closing sentence. The final activity was to create a self-portrait with paper plates and colored paper and attach their essay. These were posted on the walls for everyone to enjoy.