using Beetle McGrady Eats Bugs! in speech therapy
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/b/ initial
/k/ medial
/gr/ medial
/t/ medial and final
/g/ final
/l/ final



Book Details:
Diverse Characters: Yes
Age Recommendation: Elementary, Late Elementary

Beetle McGrady Eats Bugs!

By Megan McDonald

Beetle McGrady dreams of being an explorer like Marco Polo or a pioneer like Amelia Earhart. She dreams of being brave and daring, and she will begin by … eating an ant. It’s dare double dare on the school playground, but will Beetle be able to live up to her dreams? Face to face –– or Beetle to ant –– will she be able to bite and chew and … swallow? Gulp! If she does, what will the ant taste like? If she does, will the ant be crunchy or squishy? And if she can’t, does that mean she’s a chicken?

This brave bug-themed book that is great for using in spring or summer can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like being the best at something. It is also great for noticing character expressions and for targeting mental state verbs as well as for describing and targeting figurative language! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using Beetle McGrady Eats Bugs! in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode

Narrative Concepts:

character analysis
illustration study
figurative language
negation (not)
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (mental state)
verbs (linguistic)​​


adventure, brave, zoom, explorer, pioneer, food groups, sparingly, protein, locusts, crickets, ants, daring, mealworm, chickpea, pilgrims, lima beans, succotash

Character Analysis:

When Beetle McGrady is put on the spot to eat an ant, she chickens out and feels bad about herself. She keeps thinking about how she couldn’t muster up the courage to do it; however, finds herself eating lots of different bugs at the end when a chef brings in some treats for the class.


Beetle McGrady wants to be the best at eating bugs only to find out that it isn’t as easy as it seems. She learns at the end that she just had to see them a different way.

facial expressions

Figurative Language:

sensory language
similes (what foods taste like, who she compares herself to)


negation (not)
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (mental state)
verbs (linguistic)

Text Features:

change in font
change in font size
list of tips


How do her friends feel about her new food group?
Why did she suddenly not feel like a brave explorer?
Why do you think she said she wasn’t hungry?
What do her friends think when she spits out the ant?
How does she feel about herself?
What is she thinking about?
How did they feel about trying new foods?
Why does Mona keep putting on her sunglasses?
What do the students think about the food Chef Suzanne brought?
How did she feel if she said she was like Amelia Earhart on a desert island?
How did she feel when she ate the bugs in class? How about her peers?


What food group do you think Beetle McGrady will add to the pyramid?
What do you think she is going to do when she gets dared to eat a bug?
What do you think she could do to get ready for the challenge?
What do you think is going to happen when she tries to eat the ant?
What do you think her poem will say?
What do you think Beetle McGrady wants?
What do you think Chef Suzanne will bring for the class?
What do you think will happen when she eats the bugs?