Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Hey, Little Ant

Hoose, Phillip (Author)
Hoose, Hannah (Author)
Tilley, Debbie (Illustrator)
Penguin Random House 1998. 28 pages
First published: 1998
ISBN: 9781883672546 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 782
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, point of view, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Originally a song by a father-daughter team, this thought-provoking book raises the all-important question: “to squish or not to squish?”

Told through the alternating points of view of an ant pleading for its life and the kid (egged on by friends) who is about to step on it, the story unfolds as a play, with each character’s rhymed lines building the case for his side. The boy claims ants are rude and carry off his family’s picnic food; the ant snaps back that it is more than just a speck; it has a family, too.

Several of the full-page ink-and-watercolour illustrations use a zoomed-in perspective to evoke empathy for the ant.

The book’s main message is about the importance of being kind to all creatures. The final decision is left in the reader’s hands: “Should the ant get squished? Should the ant go free?/It’s up to the kid, not up to me./We’ll leave the kid with the raised-up shoe./What do you think that kid should do?” The sheet music for the song is included.

  •  

    Choral read along as the story is read aloud.

  •  

    Record yourself reading this book aloud to work on fluency and expression.

  •  

    Debate with a friend: Should the child squish the ant or not?

  •  

    Discuss how people treat bugs/insects. Why are they sometimes treated badly? How do people treat other kinds of animals? 

  •  

    Script the conversation between the ant and her children when she takes home some picnic food for their supper.

  •  

    Choral read along as a rap, with half the class reading the part of the boy and half reading that of the ant.

  •  

    Sing along to the sheet music at the end of the book.

  •  

    Discuss the story. How does the author make the ant seem human? What do you think the boy should do at the end and why? How do we treat insects (butterflies, spiders, mosquitoes, etc.)?

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To cooperate with others
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Ethics and Religious Culture
  • Science and Technology