Animals in Literature

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Hey Little Ant

Hey Little Ant tells the story of a boy deciding whether to step on, or spare the life of an ant he and his friends find in the school yard. With his friends pressuring him to step on the ant, the boy faces a dilemma on what to do as the ant attempts to convince the boy that people and ants are not as different as one might think. Drawing on your students’ experiences with peer pressure and bullying, they can relate to both the boy and the ant, and think critically about what they would do if they were in the same situation.

Why use this book?

  • Can lead to a discussion on the importance of respect for living things
  • Helps compare the needs of animals to the needs of people
  • Relates the treatment of animals to how people like to be treated

Ask your students:

  • How would you feel if you were the ant? How would you feel if you were the boy?
  • Do you think that the boy will squish the ant? What would you do?
  • Why does the boy think it’s ok to squish the ant? What reasons does he give?
  • The ant tries to convince the boy to spare him from getting squished. What does the ant say to try to convince him?


  • Bullying – This book touches on peer pressure and bullying. Begin a discussion about bullying by brainstorming with students about what they already know. Then, ask students:
    • If the boy decided to squish the ant, would he be thought of as a
      bully? Why?
    • If other students pressured the boy into squishing the ant, would
      they be bullying the boy?
    • How would the ant feel if the boy decided that he should be
  • Discuss with students other examples of verbal and non-verbal behaviours
    that can be considered bullying. Have students write and illustrate a journal
    entry about a bullying experience. They may choose to use one of the
    sentence starters provided below.

    • I didn’t like it when…
    • I knew I shouldn’t have…
    • Next time…
    • I should have said something when…
  • Encourage students to proof-read their work by checking for spelling mistakes, capital letters and punctuation.

Hey Little Ant is part of the AnimalTales program. Above, is a small selection of the discussion questions and activities that can be found in the Grade One Teacher’s Guide. For additional discussion questions and activities request the FREE book-lending program for your class.

Additional Resources Related to Book:


Phillip and Hannah Hoose, 1998


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