A useful exercise is to have children describe a familiar setting without naming it.
The two bad ants are reminded that working together for the benefit of the whole community something that is true to the nature of an ant feels better than selfishly lingering in the sugar bowl to eat a great share of the delicious crystals.
After their frightening experiences in the kitchen, the ants are relieved and delighted to head home to the calm and collaborative world of their home and family.
This technique of querying is useful in writing lessons as well.
Two Bad Ants provides opportunities for less-experienced readers to develop their predicting skills, either during a read-aloud or as part of their independent reading.
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.The two ants have decided to tarry and eat crystals to their hearts' content.When morning comes, the ants are violently awoken by a large scoop lifting them out of the crystal jar and dropping them into a hot brown liquid.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.The spare illustrations in Two Bad Ants drawn with pen and ink over a base of casein, paint that is not water soluble differ perceptibly from Van Allsburg's other drawings but are equally expressive.In this book perhaps more than other Van Allsburg's stories we observe the world from unusual angles and perspectives. 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.Background Knowledge: This lesson works best if your students are not yet familiar with Two Bad Ants.It can be helpful if students have been working on narrative writing of some sort and have been exposed to the idea of writing about setting, but it is not necessary.