Quick Links to Navigate This Website

Lesson Plans for Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema

This lesson plan is designed to read the book aloud to kindergarten, first grade, or second grade students.


Students will be able to:
  • Define onomatopoeia

  • Make and confirm predictions

  • Participate in class discussion

  • Make text-to-self connection

  • Respond to a text through writing and drawing

  • Locate Africa on a globe


  • Copy of Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema

  • Chart paper and markers

  • Globe

  • Copy of student "Response Sheet" for each student

  • Pencils and crayons for each student

  • Browsing box of leveled books for each table/group of seats


Before reading

  • Tell a personal story of a time when someone or something bugged you. Ask 3 to 4 students to share a time that something really bugged them.

  • Tell students that we are going to be reading a story today about a bug.

  • Display cover of book. This story is going to be about a mosquito.

  • Define onomatopoeia. Model identifying onomatopoeia in the title with the word "buzz."

  • What sound do mosquitoes make? Why do people hate mosquitoes so much? What does it feel like to get bitten by a mosquito?

  • Look at the pictures on the cover. Model gathering information from the cover. Discuss how the picture of the man with the hat indicates that the story does not take here. Point out that the mosquito is bigger than normal, so the mosquito must be important to the story.

  • Point out that the mosquito seems to be saying something to the man. What do you think the mosquito is saying? Chart up to 6 students' responses.

  • Discuss that there is a lot of movement in the story. Take a picture walk and point out various places where movement happens. Stop the picture walkabout half-way through the story. Have students help develop actions for things that happen in the story (i.e., the lizard bobbing his head).

  • While taking the picture walk, point out the iguana. Discuss what an iguana is to assure background knowledge before reading.

  • Explain that this story is from Africa. Use a globe to display where Africa is.

  • Explain that good readers often think about what they are reading. Explain that you will be thinking about your reading through the story

During reading

  • While reading, have students repeat words that describe how each animal walks.

  • Encourage students to do actions for the various motions in the story.

  • Make "I wonder" statements:

    • I wonder why the mosquito is so annoying
    • I wonder if the iguana is going to get hurt since he can't hear with those sticks in his ears!
    • I wonder if the python will ever realize he has scared the rabbit
    • I wonder if the iguana is going to be in trouble with the King
    • I wonder if the mosquito is ever going to get caught by the King

  • Build tension before turning page to reveal that the man swats the mosquito.

After reading

  • Display chart paper with predictions of what the mosquito is saying to the man on the cover. Read over the predictions made.

  • Were any of our predictions correct about what the mosquito is saying? Were any of them close? Ask students to identify where in the story the predictions are proven or disproven. Turn to the last two pages and re-read them. Explain that good readers go back and double-check to make sure they are correct.

  • Ask students to discuss what they thought of the story. Allow four or five students to share their ideas.

  • Pass out "Response Sheet" to students. Read over what the sheet says.

  • Discuss with students what really bugs them. Have students draw something that bugs them in the illustration section. Encourage students to try to write a label or a sentence about what bugs them on the lines below. Encourage invented spelling. Adapt this sheet for grade levels:

    • Expect first graders to write a full sentence. Encourage inventive spelling and use of word wall to check spelling.
    • Expect second graders to write a few sentences. Provide additional paper for students to continue their stories.

  • Provide "Browsing Box" of leveled books for students who finish early.

  • After students finish their drawings, ask students to pair up. Tell students they will have one minute to tell their partner what bugs them and to talk about their drawings. Then the partner will be able to share his or her drawing and writing.

  • Time students for one minute and then have partners switch who is talking.


  • Student participation

  • Following directions

  • Teacher observation

  • Ability to confirm predictions

  • Student responses to questions

Amistad Titles

Lesson Plans

Internet Links

Click on the links below to navigate within this website:

Easy Literacy Home

BCC Course Information and Support

Quotable Quotes for Writing Inspiration

Power Points for Reading and Writing Instruction

Amistad Grant Lesson Plans and Information
Help With Reading Comprehension
Copyright © 2007 by Catherine M. Wishart. All rights reserved.