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A valuable Lesson from the Ants Export Lesson as PDF | Save As Favorite

A valuable Lesson from the Ants Grade: Grade 3
Subject: English Language Arts
Created by: Shelby Rehnke
Lesson Length: 2 hours 15 minutes
Keywords/Tags: Reading, Vocabulary, Ants, Grasshoppers, Hard Work, Critical thinking
Lesson Description: Prior to starting this lesson plan, teachers are highly encouraged to used a full recess period for a class exploration. Students will be teamed up with a partner in order to search for ants and grasshoppers on the playground. They then must write down facts and observations they discover along the way. They may also draw pictures of what they see. During this lesson, students will learn valuable: reading skills, vocabulary, critical thinking, and reading comprehension skills. The students will first read the short passage in small groups of four. They will then break off into partners of two again to answer the vocabulary, discussion, and essay questions provided below. Students are encouraged to use dictionaries, act out the story, and examine the classroom pet grasshopper in order to answers the questions to the best of their ability. This lesson will take about two days to complete; once the essays are finished and collected, the teacher will then read a few of the students answers for the essay question. This lesson plan topic can easily be transferred into other subject areas like science and math class.
Common Core Standards Covered with This Lesson
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.1: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.2: Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.4: Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.8: Describe the logical connection between particular sentences and paragraphs in a text (e.g., comparison, cause/effect, first/second/third in a sequence).
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.1: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.1b: Provide reasons that support the opinion.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.4a: Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
Lesson Content: Reading
Instructions: Please read the following reading passage as many times as needed (aloud and silent) before starting to go through other lesson pages. Understanding the content of this passage is very important since the lesson activities will be all about this content. Feel free to print the passage if needed.

The Ants and the Grasshopper

It is wintertime. The weather is cold, but the ants are doing fine. They have their warm home, and they have a lot of food to eat. They can wait for the warm weather in spring. The reason the ants have a lot of food is because they worked in the summer. So now they have grain to eat. 

Grain is a kind of plant. People plant it and cut it and then they use it to make bread. The ants get the grain in summer, because that is when grain grows. The ants live in the fields where the grain grows. When the wind blows, some grain falls and the ants rush to get it. They do not eat it right then. They save it because they need to be able to have food in the winter months when plants do not grow. This goes on all summer. 

The ants work hard every day. They pick up the grain, they carry it to their home. Every ant helps. Each ant carries one piece of grain. It is hard work. They carry more than they need to eat every day. They carry grain they will eat in winter, too. They play sometimes, but most of the time they work. 

The grasshoppers live near the ants, and they love summer. They hop and play and they laugh at the ants. They say, “We have fun every day while you work every day. Come and play. You can get grain later.” But the ants say, “No, we have to work.” 

Soon it is winter, and the grasshoppers are cold. They are hungry, too. They do not have food to eat. Since they played all summer, they did not save food for winter. 

One day, a grasshopper came to see the ants and he was very hungry. “Please, ants, could you help me a little bit? I am just so hungry!” said the grasshopper. 
The ants asked him, "Why didn’t you work in summer? We did. Remember, how you played while we worked? You made fun of us and said, ‘All work and no play is no good.’ Well, now we have food and you are hungry.” 

The grasshopper said, "I didn't have the time. The weather was so lovely that I spent all the days singing. I couldn’t help but have fun. We had such a good time.” 

The ants said, “We are sorry you have no food. We have a lot because we worked hard. You have none because you played. But, we will give you some food because we are good, kind neighbors. We want you to live, so we will help you now. But learn from us. Playing is a lot of fun. But you need to work to live.” 

The grasshopper thanked the ants. The grasshopper had learned a lesson. It is fun to play, but you need to save for winter, too. You need to work if you want to eat. Next summer, he would work and play, too, just like the ants.

Task 1: Vocabulary Activity (35 points)
Instructions: Please complete the following vocabulary activity by choosing the correct meaning of each word selected from the passage and use of each word correctly in a sentence.

Vocabulary Questions

Word/Phrase: Grain | Tier: 3 | Points: 5
Q1 The author of our short story said,"The reason the ants have a lot of food is because they worked in the summer. So now they have grain to eat." what does "grain" mean in this sentence?
A. A pile of sticks
B. Sand and dirt mixed
C. A kind of plant *
D. A type of bug

Which sentence below uses the word "grain" correctly?
A. The baker just finished mixing grain into the dough in order to make bread. *
B. The boys tracked in grain all over the house; it was a big mess!
C. One of the two bugs in my room was a grain.
D. The men started a nice warm fire with grain.

Word/Phrase: Wintertime | Tier: 3 | Points: 10
Q2 In the story, the author says,"It is wintertime. The weather is cold, but the ants are doing fine." what does the word "wintertime" mean?
A. The season is winter, the plants are not blooming. *
B. The season is spring and everything is blooming.
C. The season is Fall and it is starting to feel cold outside.
D. The season is summer; it is extremely hot outside.

Please pick the correct sentence using the word "wintertime".
A. I am so excited to go swimming at the beach; the weather is so nice during the wintertime.
B. Wintertime is my favorite time of the year; the weather is cold, schools is on break, and it always snows! *
C. Oh no! I just slept in an extra hour; if I don't get ready now, then Ill be late for wintertime.
D. Wintertime happens during the month of July; we celebrate by setting off fireworks.

Word/Phrase: Lovely | Tier: 2 | Points: 10
Q3 In the story about the Grasshopper and the Ant, the author uses the word "Lovely". In the sentence,"The weather was so lovely that I spent all the days singing." what does the word "lovely" mean?
A. Strange
B. Ugly
C. Unpleasant
D. Beautiful *

Pick the best sentence below that uses the word "lovely" correctly.
A. I think it is just lovely going to the doctors office for a shot.
B. My math test was lovely, I think I missed every single problem.
C. I had a lovely day at the beach with my family and friends; we watched the sunset and searched for seashells. *
D. I had such a horrible lovely day; everything went wrong!

Word/Phrase: Neighbors | Tier: 3 | Points: 5
Q4 What does the word "neighbor" mean in the sentence,"But, we will give you some food because we are good, kind neighbors." ?
A. A pice of wood
B. Friends *
C. Teammates
D. Strangers

Pick the sentence correctly using the word "neighbor".
A. My next door neighbor is so helpful when we go away on vacation. *
B. There were three neighbors behind me in line.
C. There are twenty neighbors on our soccer team.
D. My dad needed a stack of neighbors to build the tree house

Word/Phrase: Rush | Tier: 2 | Points: 5
Q5 What does the word "rush" mean in this sentence: "When the wind blows, some grain falls and the ants rush to get it." ?
A. To move quickly *
B. To take a very long time
C. The act of brushing something off
D. To stop what you are doing

Chose the correct sentence bellow using the word "rush".
A. Henry rushed out the door to see what the loud noise was outside. *
B. Lilly patiently rushed through her picture book.
C. He rushed off all of the dirt that was accumulated on his shoes.
D. Gary always takes his time on tests; on his math test he rushed so much, he was the last one done.

Standards Covered with This Lesson Activity: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.1, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.4a,
Task 2: Discussion Activity (30 points)
Instructions: Please answer each discussion question by writing one paragraph. Include vocabulary words from the story in your answers. 

  Topic Title Replies

Message No Grain for the Grasshopper
Why didn't the grasshopper in the story collect grain for the winter like the ants?
Sent on: Sep 30, 2013 by: Shelby Rehnke

Message Season for Collecting Grain
Why didn't the ants collect grain during the wintertime? The weather is so much cooler during the wintertime than the summer; wouldn't it be easier to work during the wintertime? 
Sent on: Sep 30, 2013 by: Shelby Rehnke

Message Which insect are you
In the story about the Grasshopper and the Ant, pretend like the grain is actually homework. Are you more like the grasshopper when it comes to working on homework; or are you more like the hard working ant? Explain why.
Sent on: Sep 30, 2013 by: Shelby Rehnke

Standards Covered with This Lesson Activity: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.8, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.1,
Task 3: Writing Activity (35 points)
Instructions: Write a 2 paragraph essay on how you think the grasshopper in the story should schedule his day in order to have both playtime and work time. Explain in detail what he should be doing and what time he should be doing it. Your job is to make sure he works hard to have enough food, but to also have enough play time. Try to use the vocabulary words from the story in your explanation. 
Standards Covered with This Lesson Activity: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.1b, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.3,

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