Learning to Give, Philanthropy education resources that teach giving and civic engagement

Ants Have Feelings, Too!
Lesson 1
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework


Through listening and responding to literature, children gain an understanding of the concept of respect. They learn to see things from anotherís point of view.


Three Fifteen-Minute Class Periods


The learner will:

  • illustrate an event from an antís point of view.
  • predict and reflect on the outcome of the story.
  • express ways to show respect for others.
  • role-play story actions and cooperative behaviors in the classroom.


  • Teacher copy of Hey, Little Ant by Phillip and Hannah Hoose (see Bibliographical References)
  • A large paper or plastic model ant
  • Family Letter (Attachment One)
Handout 1
Family Letter

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:

Show the large model ant to the class. Have the ant talk to the class and give its point of view. For example: "Many children think it is okay to step on ants and squash our homes. Can you imagine how scary it would be to see a giant shoe coming down on your head? What if a giant kicked over your house? Although we are small, each of us is still important. Have you ever felt that way?" Tell the students that you are going to read a book to help them see the world from an antís point of view. Tell them that at the end, they must decide who is right, the boy or the ant.

Day One

  • Read the book Hey, Little Ant to the students. Stop, check for understanding, and let students make predictions as you read. After the story, ask the students to respond to the question at the end of the book. Brainstorm ideas from the book that teach us how to treat ants (and each other).

  • Talk about how ants see things differently. (What would a shoe look like?)

  • Ask the learners to draw what they think the shoe would like to the ant.

Day Two

  • Reread or retell or sing the story while dramatizing the major actions.

  • Tell the students that the ant is asking them to understand his point of view and to be more considerate, or more respectful of him. Tell them it is important to understand how others feel and to not hurt otherís feelings. Ask them to think of ways they can be more respectful of each other at school and in their families (take turns, ask before doing, express feelings, listen to friends, etc.).

  • Role-play some of their ideas using classroom props. (Have one student ask another student for a toy, saying please and thank you.)

Day Three

  • Retell or sing the story while the children dramatize the actions.

  • Discuss universal themes such as cooperation, hard work and kindness in the natural world, in school and at home. (Share stories from School/Home Connection.)

    Note: Adapt this lesson for special-needs preschoolers Ė After becoming familiar with the book, teacher will "read pictures" rather than text to the children.


Teacher observation of childrenís dramatization and discussion.

School/Home Connection:

Interactive Parent / Student Homework:
Send home a note to families, informing them that we will be working on the character trait of respect. Ask for examples of how they show respect to each other at home. (See Attachment One: Family Letter.) When the examples come back to school, let the students tell the class about it. Then discuss whether they have the same, or similar, examples in other homes.

Cross-Curriculum Extensions:

  • At the end of the story, there is a question "What would you do?" Graph the studentsí responses to that question.
  • Set up an ant farm in the classroom for children to observe.
  • Read The Ant Bully by John Nickle. Ask the students to compare the stories. Talk about what will happen next (at the end of the story).

Bibliographical References:

  • Hoose, Phillip and Hannah. Hey, Little Ant. California: Tricycle Press, 1998. ISBN: 1883672546

  • Nickle, John. The Ant Bully. Scholastic, 1999. ASIN: 0590395912

Lesson Developed By:

Kathy Bacon
Grand Rapids Public Schools
Ken-O-Sha Early Childhood Campus
Grand Rapids, MI 49508

Lea Ebels
Grand Rapids Public Schools
Ken-O-Sha Early Childhood Campus
Grand Rapids, MI 49508

Tammy Johnson
Grand Rapids Public Schools
Ken-O-Sha Early Childhood Campus
Grand Rapids, MI 49508


Handout 1Print Handout 1

Family Letter

Dear Families,

As part of our character education program, we have been talking about respecting and being considerate of others. It is important to show respect for ourselves as well as others. Please discuss with your child about ways your family members show respect for each other. We will continue this discussion at school as we learn to work together.

If possible, write a description of one way you show respect for each other at home. Let your child dictate the example to you while you write it down. Tell the child to tell about a specific example. The child will have an opportunity to tell about it at school.



Your name

Philanthropy Framework:


Amy, Teacher Ė Albion, MI10/13/2007 6:28:11 PM

(The positive aspects of using this lesson were the) different points of view. Showing consideration and respect for people who are different from us. Showing consideration and respect for animals.

Robyn, Educator Ė Ipswich, Australia9/5/2013 2:51:27 PM

I have been searching for a lesson just like this to help my preschool class develop the concept of respect and understanding for the rights, positions and views of others. This is going to be extremely helpful and engaging with the variety of resources. Thanks a million!

Tenisha, Teacher Ė Washington DC, DC2/24/2015 10:09:11 AM

Wonderful Lessons! Great Job!!

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Unit Contents:

Overview:"Antsy" for Others Summary


Ants Have Feelings, Too!
Ant-Like Antics

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