Environmental Ethics Using Hey, Little Ant

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Area: Other Areas
Grade Level: Primary/Elementary School
Topics: Ethics Environmental Ethics, Moral relation to animals, Peer pressure, Respect
Estimated Time Necessary: 1 hour
Lesson Attachment: P4C-session-10-@-SW-1.pdf

Lesson Plan

Objectives:
Respect
Who or what deserves respect? The discussion will address the duties we have to others as well as how we utilize our power and responsibility onto others?
Peer Pressure
We will be exploring the phenomenon of peer pressure. The discussion will allow for the children to consider good and bad forms of peer pressure.
Metacognition
The children will be to reflect on how we reason ethically, allow for self reflection on the ethical decision making process, discussion on the moral status of animals.

What is Environmental Ethics?

Environmental Ethics is the discipline in philosophy that studies the value of the environment and its non-human contents as well as their moral relationship to human beings.

Materials Needed: Hey, Little Ant by Hannah Hoose and Phillip Hoose

Opening Activity:

Break the Circle: Respect

  • Who or what do we respect?
  • Do we respect people? Animals? Insects?
  • How do we show our respect?
  • Do we respect these people, animals, objects equally or in the same way?
  • Are there things or beings we do not need to respect that deserve to be respected? Should we respect them? If so, how so?

Read the Book

After reading the book, you can take the students’ questions or supplement with the questions on the “Discussion Questions” tab in this lesson plan.

Post Reading Activity

Each student will be given a plastic bag that contains a printed picture of an ant, spider, ladybug, and bee. The students will then decide whether they will squish the insect by ripping them up or not squish by leaving the printed picture in full contact. Discuss reasons for doing so.

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Discussion Questions

  • Who or what do we respect?
  • Do we respect people? Animals? Insects?
  • How do we show our respect?
  • Do we respect these people, animals, objects equally or in the same way?
  • Are there things or beings we do not respect that deserve to be respected? Should we respect them? If so, how so?
  • What do you think the boy should have done? Squish or not? Why or why not?
  • How could the boy have shown respect to the ant?
  • What is peer pressure? Was peer pressure involved? Is peer pressure always good or always bad?
  • Who was peer pressuring the boy?
  • Is the ant worth less than the boy? How is he worth less? Are the ants' feelings worth less than the boy's feelings?
  • How do you think the boy would feel if the roles were switched? How are the two situations different and how are they alike?
  • Have you ever stepped on an insect? Did you ever stop to think of how that would affect the insect?
  • In the story, the boy has the power to squish the ant. Can you think of anything you have the power to do but shouldn't? What keeps you from doing it?
This lesson plan was created for PLATO by: Jessica Manzo, CSUB Alumni.

This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

If you would like to change or adapt any of PLATO's work for public use, please feel free to contact us for permission at info@plato-philosophy.org.