Ants Have Feelings, Too!

K, 1, 2

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

PrintThree Fifteen-Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • illustrate an event from an ant’s 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 (Handout One)
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 Handout 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.

  • Hoose, Phillip and Hannah. Hey, Little Ant. California: Tricycle Press, 1998. ISBN: 1883672546
  • Nickle, John. The Ant Bully. Scholastic, 1999. ASIN: 0590395912


  1. 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 ant’s point of view. Tell them that at the end, they must decide who is right, the boy or the ant.

    Day One

  2. 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).

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

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

  5. Day Two

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

  7. 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 other’s 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.).

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

  9. Day Three

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

  11. 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 – After becoming familiar with the book, teacher will "read pictures" rather than text to the children.


Teacher observation of children’s dramatization and discussion.


Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark E.2 Discuss the importance of respect for others.
      2. Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate listening skills.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.5 Give examples of actions students can take to improve the common good and list or describe responsibilities that go with those actions.