Ant Writing Paper

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A useful exercise is to have children describe a familiar setting without naming it.

Encourage them to give as many details as possible so that other students can guess the location.

• About the Book • Special Features • Teaching Ideas - Guiding Questions for a Two Bad Ants Read-aloud - Mystery Setting: Teaching Students to Show (Not Tell) When Describing Setting: An Upper-grade Writing Lesson - Making Predictions As We Read: A Lower-grade Reading Lesson • Just for Fun • Download book jacket • Download author photo Printer-Friendly Version E-Mail a Friend When an ant scout returns home with a mysterious crystal, the queen ant decides it is the most delicious food she has ever tasted.

That evening the other ants, wishing to make the queen happy, set off on a journey to fetch home as many of these crystals as they can carry. Following the scout, the ants travel through the "forest" to the "mountain" they must climb in order to reach the treasure they seek.

Find Fritz: Fritz the dog is hidden inside the swirl of water with the ants. To reach the delicious crystals, the ants traverse what to them is a mysterious land full of menacing obstacles.

To us, it's an ordinary kitchen, but Van Allsburg doesn't tell us that directly: he describes the setting without telling us it's a kitchen.As we follow the ants on their journey to the pot of delicious crystals, the ordinary becomes extraordinary and powerful.A simple kitchen becomes a perilous obstacle course.It seemed to them that every second the temperature was rising.It soon became so unbearably hot that they thought they would soon be cooked.We are invited to try on the size of an ant — electric sockets loom overhead, a spoon is as big as an elevator.The adventure is described in fresh language that transforms a simple walk from the yard to the kitchen (in human terms) into a life-threatening excursion.Introduction: Tell your students that you are going to read them the book Two Bad Ants.Ask them to pay particular attention to the way Van Allsburg shows us where the ants are by describing the setting in vivid detail, rather than by telling us where they are.Teaching: Choose several pages to read to the children without showing them the pictures.For example: They found a huge round disk with holes that could neatly hide them.


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