Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People’s Ears
By: Danyiele Faul
Grade Level: 3rd grade
Subject Area: Reading/Language Arts
Materials Needed: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema, think aloud
prop-small djembe, stuffed animal props, mosquito repellent, large poster paper
3.2.10 Reflect on and respond to texts from various genres and cultures.
3.3.1 Select ideas and information to persuade, entertain, or inform using a specific genre
of writing; i.e., narrative, personal persuasive, traditional tale, poetry
TLW recognize cause and effect relationships.
TLW create a cause/effect situation that pertains to the story.
1. Ask the students what they know about mosquitoes—use mosquito repellent.
2. Talk about Africa and African animals—use animal props.
3. Go through the vocabulary words: startled, tale, and council. Say the word first and have
them repeat it. Then ask them if any of them know the meaning. Explain that in the story
they will make a jumping motion each time they hear the word “startled”.
startled-got scared from something and made a jolting or jumping action
tale-a fictional story that is usually passed down in cultures
council-a group of people in charge of something
1. Imitate the sounds the animals make and have the students join in each time an animal
makes a sound in the text.
2. Use the think aloud prop to show what I’m thinking.
Second page halfway through, after the python says, “I’m afraid he is plotting
some mischief against me!”—say, “I wonder if the iguana is really plotting
something against the python”.
On the third page with words, at the bottom of the page, have the students do a
turn and talk. Ask them, “Is there a dangerous beast around? Or what really is
After the fifth page with words, ask the students, “Do owls really make the sun
rise?” Take this opportunity to talk about the elements of a tale.
On the sixth page with words, go over the vocabulary word council.
On the eighth page with words, go over the vocabulary word startled.
On the eighth page have the students do a turn and talk and make a prediction
about what is going to happen next.
1. Recap the story.
2. Go over the vocabulary words again and how they were used.
3. Ask the students why the iguana put sticks in his ears. Explain the cause of his actions
and the effects of the whole story.
4. Discuss cause and effect.
5. Split the class into groups of 4. They will each come up with their own animal. Then
they will each come up with a story of how their animal did something to affect the next
animal and so on. They will put it into a flow chart with complete sentences.
6. When they are finished they will present their story to the class.
Observe the students and their responses during discussion and comprehension questions.
Use informal assessment. Each student must participate in the small group activity. Check each
group’s poster for cause and effect comprehension.
This read-aloud lesson went very well. The students were very attentive throughout the
whole book. Their comprehension of the story was also excellent. They enjoyed all of the props
that tied in with the book. They especially liked that the props were from Africa. When the
students got into groups to put their stories together, they needed some help getting started but
they grasped the cause/effect concept very well and were able to convey their comprehension
through their stories. I would repeat this lesson again; however, I would explain my expectations
about working in a group better. Some of the students weren’t working as well as they should
have in the groups so I would definitely make my instructions clearer.