using An Ant’s Day Off in speech therapy

Frequent Speech Sounds:

/b/ initial
/fl/ initial
/d/ initial and final
/ar/ medial
/t/ final
/f/ final

Themes:

bugs
self-care
self-doubt
spring

Book Details:

Diverse Characters: N/A
Age Recommendation: Elementary, Late Elementary, Middle School

An Ant’s Day Off

By Bonny Becker

Bart the sand ant has heard these words for as long as he can remember. Never in the history of antdom has an ant taken a day off. Still, Bart can't help but wonder what it might be like to see what goes on out there in the big, wide world. “They'll never let you back in!” warns his best friend, Floyd, about leaving the nest. But Bart leaves his mounds of work behind, and discovers just how important it is for an ant to find some time for himself every now and then.

This inspiring bugs book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like having different perspectives, self-care and self-doubt. It is also great for noticing character expressions and for targeting predicting, inferencing, and character analysis as well as for a variety of verbs such as linguistic and mental state! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using An Ant’s Day Off in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching concepts

Narrative Structure:

complex episode

Narrative Concepts:

vocabulary​
theme/message
character analysis​
sequencing
illustration study
inferencing
figurative language
social/emotional
predicting
verbs (action)
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (mental state)
verbs (linguistic)
negation (never)
adverbs

Sequencing:

order of events that leads to Bart and Floyd taking another day off

Vocabulary:

glance, history, day off, toiled, mound, glimmer, gleam, scramble, stern, patrol, scurried, remains, broad, peer, croaked, current, idle, murmured, squawked, hover, stagger, stammer, grin

Character Analysis:

Bart wants to experience something different and take a day off even though that’s not what is expected of him. When things don’t feel like they are going as planned, he begins to doubt himself only to learn that his feelings are normal.

Social/Emotional:

Bart learns to follow his heart and that it’s ok to take time for yourself. He also realizes that his wants and needs may be different than other ants and that he knows best for himself.

facial expressions
perspective taking

Figurative Language:

personification (glimmer of blue calling to him, breeze tugged at his antennae)

Grammar:

verbs (action)
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (mental state)
verbs (linguistic)
negation (never)
adverbs

Inferencing:

How does Bart feel about never having a day off?
How does Floyd feel about never having a day off?
What do you think makes each of them happy?
How did Floyd feel when Bart began climbing to get out?
How did Bart feel when he reached the top?
What do you think about the food patrol ants?
How did Bart feel when the frog snapped the fly into his mouth?
What did Bart think as he was floating down the stream? How did he feel?
Why do you think he kept going?
How does Bart feel on the dandelion? What does he realize?
How does Bart feel when the bee takes him?
Why did Bart stammer?
Why does Bart think he is useless?
How do you think Bart feels after talking to the guard?
Why do you think Floyd wanted a day off now?
How did they feel if they grinned?

Predicting:

What do you think Bart would do if he were to take a day off?
What do you think will happen when Bart starts climbing?
What do you think he will say to the frog?
What do you think he will do with the dandelion?
What do you think will happen to Bart next?
Why does Floyd keep thinking about what Bart said?
What do you think the guard will do to Bart?
What do you think will happen on his second day off?