BOOK STATSGrade Level Equivalent: K–3Lexile Measure : 58LGuided Reading Level: KGenre: Picture BookSubject/Theme: Bullies, Humor, InsectsAges: 4 Pages: 32Common CoreReadingState StandardsWritingListening &SpeakingLanguageGrade KRL.K.1, RL.K.2,RLK.4, RL.K.7W.K.3SL.K,1, SL.K.2,SL.K.5L.K.4, L.K.5Grade 1RL.1.1, RL.1.2,RL.1.4, RL.1.7W.1.3SL.1,1, SL.1.2,SL.1.5L.1.4, L.1.5Grade 2RL.2.1, RL.2.2,RL.2.4, RL.2.7W.2.3SL.2.1, SL.2.2,SL.2.5L.2.4, L.2.5Grade 3RL.3.1, RL.3.2,RL.3.4, RL.3.7W.3.3SL.3.1, SL.3.2,SL.3.5L.8.4, L.8.5Teaching the BookBullies of the world, beware! That’s the message ofthis imaginative and clever fantasy story about a bullied boy and the ants who teach him a lesson. JohnNickle’s story provides the opportunity to modelhow to do a close reading to determine the themeof the book and how to choose strong and precisewords. Activities engage students in generating questions and finding answers about real ants, performing a dramatic reading of the book, and creating a“Stop the Bully” poster.Theme Focus: BulliesComprehension Focus: Determining ThemeLanguage Focus: Strong and Precise WordsABOUT THE AUTHORJohn Nickle has illustrated several acclaimed children’sbooks including Alphabet Explosion, Who Pushed HumptyDumpty, and Hans My Hedgehog. The Ant Bully wasreleased as a major motion picture by Warner Bros. andPlaytone in 2006. Nickle’s editorial illustrations have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The AtlanticMonthly, and The Wall Street Journal.John Nickle says he has faced many bullies in his lifetime,and writing and illustrating The Ant Bully gave him a wayto finally get even. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.OVERVIEWBook SummaryIt all begins when Sid, the neighborhood bully,sprays a hose at Lucas, who wears funny glasses anda strange hat and is a bit weird. Unable to strikeback, Lucas instead attacks the ants in his yard withhis squirt gun. Even ants don’t like to be bullied,and they angrily stuff Lucas into their ant hole andtake him before their Queen. She commands theAnt Wizard to shrink Lucas and puts him on trial.Lucas, now not much bigger than an ant himself, isdeclared guilty and sentenced to hard labor.At last, the Queen agrees to free Lucas if he canbring her a Swell Jell from his home. Lucas almostsucceeds until his father comes after him and his antcompanions with a fly swatter. Lucas saves the ants’lives and is rewarded by the Queen with his freedomand his normal size. The story ends with justice being served on Sid the bully! 2012 SI ALL RIGHTS RESERVEDTEACHER GUIDE1
Get Ready to ReadPre-Reading ActivitiesStop the Bully Introduce The Ant Bully by talking with students about bullies. First, share withthem several video activities about bullying from theMcGruff website. McGruff is a crime-fighting dogdeveloped by the Department of Justice to teachstudents to create better communities by fightingcrime—and bullying. Share activities with studentsto help them make choices about bullying inschool situations by visiting the McGruff websiteat http://bit.ly/VIKXJm. After playing the games,discuss with students what they learned aboutdealing with bullies.BIG QUESTIONCritical Thinking Ask students tothink about this question as theyread. Write the question on chartpaper or the whiteboard.Do you think Lucas will ever be abully again? Why or why not?Preview and Predict Project the book cover on awhiteboard or screen. Ask students to read the titleof the book and then the name of the author andillustrator. Ask them to study the cover illustration.What is happening in the picture? Why might theboy be using a squirt gun on the ants?VocabularyStrong and Precise Words Ask students to watchfor the vocabulary words as they read. How do thesewords describe things in a very strong and preciseway? Have them use clues in the pictures and thetext to figure out what the words mean.Use Resource #1: Vocabulary Cards on page 7 anddistribute copies to students.stunned (p. 12)thundered (p. 13)defending (p. 16)pleaded (p. 21)As You Readflashed (p. 25)booming (p. 25)Reading the Bookbellowed (p. 25)trickled (p. 30)Read-Aloud Read the book aloud with fluency andexpression. If possible, project the book on a whiteboard or screen. Ask students to look carefully atthe illustrations as they listen, connecting what theyhear in the story to what they see in the pictures.STORIA ENRICHMENTSTo assess and enhance students’ comprehension, thisStoria e-book contains a Reading Challenge Quiz.2TEACHER GUIDEShared Reading Reread the book and ask studentsto read their copies at the same time. Cue them toread aloud certain words and phrases that you omitfrom your reading. If students are able, encouragethem to read the text aloud with you.
Comprehension FocusDetermine Theme Help students learn how touse evidence in the text and illustrations to determine the theme of the book. Remind students thata theme is the message that an author wants to getacross to readers. Project pages 4–5 on the whiteboard or screen and model for students how to doa close reading of the text and illustrations to determine the theme about bullying. Begin by rereadingthe text on page 4.Model: The text tells me that some kids thoughtLucas was weird, but Sid the bully was especiallymean to him. Look at the picture of Sid . . .he looks just as mean as his dog! And Lucas isscared! I can tell he is scared from the look on hisface. I think the author is showing us that bullying is a really ugly and mean thing to do.Continue to discuss how the text and illustrationsdevelop the theme by using the questions on Resource #2: Determine Theme while projecting thepages on the screen. Prompt students to think deeplyabout the author’s message to readers. After answering all the questions, ask students to write or discussthe theme of the book.After You ReadQuestions to Discusscabulary words to describe how he feels or what hesays. (Sample answer: Sid the bully felt stunned to be soteeny. “Put me down!” Sid bellowed.)Questions to ShareEncourage students to share their responses with apartner or small group.1. Text-to-Self What do you think Lucas should dowith the tiny version of Sid the bully?2. Text-to-World What kinds of help do people in yourschool or community give you to deal with bullies?3. Text-to-Text Compare the illustrations in thisbook with illustrations in other picture books. Doyou like or dislike these illustrations? Why?WORDS TO KNOWStrong and Precise WordsExplain that the author chooses verbs andother words to describe things in a strongand precise way. Model the example of thundered on page 13: “GUILTY!” thundered thejudge.” Explain that the word thundered tellsus that the judge spoke in a loud and scaryvoice. Then read aloud the following quotations from the book to students. Help themdefine the words and understand why theyare strong and precise choices.Lead students in a discussion of these focus storyelements.1. Lucas was too stunned to respond. (p. 12)1. Bullies What do you think McGruff the crimefighting dog would say to Lucas at the beginning ofthe book? What advice would he give him? (Sampleanswers: Stop. Talk. Walk. He would tell Lucas torespect himself and not bully the ants.)3. “But I will need help,” Lucas pleaded.(p. 21)2. Determine Theme What lesson do you think theants taught Lucas about bullying? (Sample answers:They taught him that bullying only creates bad feelingsand more hurt. When Lucas helps them, they rewardhim with friendship and freedom.)3. Strong and Precise Words Look at the picture ofSid the bully on the last page. Use one of the vo-2. Defending the colony against wasps . . .(p. 16)4. . . . bright lights flashed and a boomingvoice filled the room. (p. 25)5. “ANNNNTS!” Lucas’s father bellowed.(p. 25)6. The wizard trickled potion drops intoLucas’s ear until he slowly fell asleep.(p. 30)TEACHER GUIDE3
Extension ActivitiesReading/Writing ConnectionA Shrinking Fantasy Being shrunk is a popularplot device in fantasy books and movies. Studentscan have fun with the idea by creating a fantasystory modeled after The Ant Bully. Depending onstudents’ abilities, you may want to have them workwith partners or create the story through a mixtureof recitation and writing. Get their imaginationsstarted with the following writing prompt: You havebeen shrunk to the size of an ant! What happenswhen . . . ? Provide students with possible options:What happens when your cat comes in your room?Content Area ConnectionsWhat happens when you go outside in your yard?What happens when you get hungry? Encouragestudents to tell their stories during an I’m Shrunk!storytime.Don’t forget theBIG QUESTIONCritical Thinking Give each studenta turn to answer the big question.Encourage students to give examples from the story or their ownlives to support their answers.Do you think Lucas will ever be abully again? Why or why not?Literature Two Bully Books The Ant Bully presentsa good opportunity for students to read two books on thesame topic. For younger readers, you might choose Noodles:I Hate Bullies! by Hans Wilhelm. For older readers, considerreading The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill. Both books staycloser to reality than The Ant Bully and provide students experience with comparing realistic fiction and fantasy, as wellas, comparing how different characters respond to bullying.Music/Math The Ants Go Marching One by OneStudents will have fun learning the words to the traditionalsong, “The Ants Go Marching One by One . . .” Locate full lyrics at the Bus Songs website, by visiting: http://bit.ly/UUbtiq.For math and music fun, share the animated video of theants marching one-by-one, two-by-two, and three-by-threefrom Grandparents Games which is posted on You Tube athttp://bit.ly/XhPq4P. Challenge students to form the linesof numbers like the ants in the video.Oral Language Dramatic Reading To practice fluency and oral expression, help students do a dramatic reading of the story. Choose one or several strong readers to readthe narration (or read it yourself). Assign other students thedialogue of the different characters: the ant queen, the antjudge, Lucas, Speedy, Rene, and Lucas’s father. Have studentsrehearse their lines several times and then present their dramatic reading to the class and make an audio recording of it.Science All About Ants After reading The Ant Bully,students may wonder how much of the information they4TEACHER GUIDElearned about ants is true and how much is fantasy. Is therereally a queen in an ant colony? Does she sit on a pinkthrone? Challenge students to come up with a list of questions about ants. Then help them find answers in books or onscience websites for kids. Students may also be interested inwatching a video about ants such as the one from Tiny Gradsposted on You Tube: http://bit.ly/REiJz3.B I G AC T I V I T Y“Stop the Bully” Poster Encourage students to createa poster against bullying using ideas from either McGruffor The Ant Bully. Tell them that their poster should have thefollowing elements:1. an attention-getting slogan or title2. a strong picture or illustration3. two or three sentences with tips or informationDistribute the Big Activity: “Stop the Bully” Posterprintable. Have students think-pair-share with a partner tobrainstorm ideas. When they have completed their posters,hang them on the classroom wall and invite students todiscuss them as a class.
Name: Date:BIG ACTIVITY: “Stop the Bully” PosterCreate a poster to stop bullying. Write a title or slogan and then draw a picture. Give tips andadvice about bullying.Title/Slogan:Picture:Tips: 2012 SI ALL RIGHTS RESERVEDTEACHER GUIDE5
READ MORE AND LEARN MOREUse these books and other resources to expand your students’ study of the book or theme.Theme ConnectionsHoward B. Wigglebottom LearnsAbout BulliesHoward BinkowAges: 4–8Grades: PreK–2Lexile Measure: 680L Pages: 33Howard is afraid to go to school. He’ll have to face thename-calling, fist-punching Snorton twins. One day, hewears his special shoes in the hopes of bouncing right overthem, but that doesn’t work. Only when Howard finally tellshis teacher does he feel safe, and the Snortons get the discipline they deserve. Available as a Storia e-bookNoodles: I Hate BulliesHans WilhelmAges: 4–6Grades: PreK–1Lexile Measure: 20LPages: 32Guided Reading Level: GNoodles the playful white puppy loves his new bone. Butthen the big bully dog steals his bone away. Will Noodlesfind a way to get his delicious bone back? With simple sentences and delightful illustrations, Noodles’ adventures areperfect for beginning readers. Available as a Storia e-bookThe Playground BullyBernice ChardietAges: 5–7Grades: K–2Lexile Measure: 110LPages: 32Guided Reading Level: KBunny and Martin want to swing and use the slide, butBrenda says it’s her playground and that they have to followher rules. Her rules include paying her with candy to get aturn on the swing and slide. Will Bunny and Martin be ableto end their bully problem, or will Brenda always have thelast say? Available as a Storia e-bookSpiders EverywhereGail HermanAges: 3–6Grades: PreK–1Lexile Measure: BRPages: 32Guided Reading Level: GBen loves playing in the front yard in the dirt and rocks. Butwhen a spider appears and gives him a fright, he races backinside. The trouble is, once he’s in the house, Ben thinks hesees spiders everywhere. An old mop looks like a spider, andso does a crack in the wall. How can he get away from thesecreepy-crawly guys? Available as a Storia e-bookTo find PDF versions of the Storia teacher guidesand links to purchase the related books, rces/.6TEACHER GUIDEBuzz Boy and Fly GuyTedd ArnoldAges: 4–6Grades: PreK–1Lexile Measure: 170LPages: 32Guided Reading Level: FMom and Dad won’t let Buzz’s pet, Fly Guy, go on the family road trip because they’re afraid he will get lost. But whenDad accidentally shuts him in the trunk, Fly Guy gets to goalong for the ride. First, Fly Guy gets lost at the picnic site—but he shows up in the garbage can. At the amusement park,he appears on Buzz’s hot dog. But when Dad gets lost onthe trip home, it’s Fly Guy who leads the way to find him.Available as a Storia e-bookNational Geographic Readers: AntsMelissa StewartAges: 5–7Grades: K–2Pages: 32Ever wonder what it’s like to be ant? Here’s the inside story! Ants are everywhere—on the ground, in betweenrocks, up in trees, and inside picnic baskets. Some ants canlift 20 times their weight, while others can fly! And there’sno rest for these hard workers—wriggling through tunnels,searching for food, and defending the nest from intrudersare just a few of their jobs. Available as a Storia e-bookPrincess Pigtoria and the PeaPamela Duncan EdwardsAges: 5–7Grades: K–2Lexile Measure: 770LPages: 40When Princess Pigtoria hears that Prince Proudfoot is looking for a bride, she goes off to see him. The Prince has theperfect plan to find out if Pigtoria is a proper princess: he’llplace a pea under her many pillows and see if she’s delicateenough to feel it! However, Pigtoria decides to hang outwith the kitchen staff and orders some pizzas, which causePigtoria to have a sleepless night. The Prince thinks she’llmake a great bride, but is that what Pigtoria really wants?Available as a Storia e-bookToo Many ToysDavid ShannonAges: 5–7Grades: K–2Lexile Measure: AD600LPages: 32Spencer has too many toys. He has robots, puzzles, boardgames, stuffed animals, and plastic action figures. Toys spillout of every drawer and closet. Something has to be done!Spencer tries to persuade his mother to let him keep themall. In the end, however, it’s not a store-bought toy but thegive-away box itself that captures Spencer’s attention.Available as a Storia e-book
Resource #1: Vocabulary Cardsstunned (p. 12)thundered (p. 13)defending (p. 16)pleaded (p. 21)flashed (p. 25)booming (p. 25)bellowed (p. 25)trickled (p. 30) 2012 SI ALL RIGHTS RESERVEDTEACHER GUIDE7
Name: Date:RESOURCE #2: Determining ThemeReread the text on the page that is specified and look again at the pictures. Then answer thequestions below.1. Lucas is squirting the ants. (p. 6)Why is Lucas bullying the ants?Does Lucas look happy about what he is doing?2. The judge gives Lucas a sentence. (p. 13)What is Lucas guilty of?How must Lucas feel now that he isn’t much bigger than the ants?3. Lucas, Speedy, and Rene walk across the yard. (p. 23)Lucas tells the ants about Sid the bully. What do the ants say back to him?4. The Queen sets Lucas free. (p. 29)Why does the Queen give Lucas his freedom?5. Lucas hold a tiny Sid on his finger. (p. 32)What did the ants do to Sid? Why?6. What is the author’s message about bullies?8TEACHER GUIDE 2012 SI ALL RIGHTS RESERVED