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Crickwing by Janell Cannon



Book Summary Novel Activities Vocabulary Words Writing Activities Discussion Topics Online Test




Book Summary


Crickwing is a great story that perfectly illustrates the golden rule—treat others as you would like to be treated.

Crickwing was a nice cockroach who tried to keep to himself and simply enjoy making sculptures from his food. Unfortunately, he was continuously bullied by the larger creatures in the forest. This made him very sad.

He came across some leafcutter ants and thought that because he was bigger than they were, he could easily pick on them and even the score. He was mistaken. The queen ant demanded that the leafcutter ants team up together and capture Crickwing to give to the army ants as a peace offering. The leafcutters did as they were asked, but then felt bad and let Crickwing go.

Crickwing was shocked by this and felt guilty because he knew the leafcutter ants would be in danger if they did not bring him back to the queen. When the leafcutter ants did not return with Crickwing, the army ants set out to try and capture Crickwing and the leafcutter ants. Crickwing came up with a clever plan to help the leafcutter ants and, together, they created a large, lifelike anteater sculpture and scared away the army ants.

This is a wonderful story about teamwork, friendship, courage, and doing the right thing.


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Novel Activities


1. Take a nature walk to collect things that Crickwing might eat. Bring them back to your classroom. As a class, make a sculpture out of all the findings.

2. Visit the following website to learn about roach anatomy.

3. Since this story is about friendship, make a friendship bracelet for someone special.


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Vocabulary Words


canopy clutter cockroach predators
sculptures colony truss conquest


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Writing Activities


Sensory/Descriptive: Vividly describe how Crickwing must have felt when he was tied up
and ants were walking past him talking to each other. Use your five senses.


Imaginative/Narrative: Write a sequel to Crickwing. What happens after Crickwing
joins the leafcutter ant colony? How does his life change?


Analytical/Persuasive: Write a paragraph persuading the army ants to work with others
rather than fight them.


Practical/Informative: Look for books at the library or find information online about cockroaches. Write a report about what you learn. Be sure to include at least five
interesting facts to share with your classmates.


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Discussion/Journal Topics


Describe some other ways in which the ants and Crickwing could have defended themselves against the army ants.

Share a story about a time in which you were bullied by someone. How did you handle it?


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Online Test


Your students can take an online test with immediate results at:

Crickwing Online Test


The Professional Development Institute has a complete literature unit for this book. For more information, click the link below.

Crickwing and TruppCrickwing/Trupp Literature Unit (Check out the sample pages!)


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