Literature Unit Study: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears (FREE Printable!)

Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People’s Ears  by Verna Aardema is one of my favorite read alouds. Besides the fun of the story, it’s also a great book to use for a literature unit study because there are so many great themes and extensions of the book that provide learning in a variety of academic areas. You can use this great little picture book as a homeschool unit study for kindergarten or elementary aged children.

literature unit

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About the Book

Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People’s Ears is based on a West African folk tale. The story is one that begins when Mosquito tells Iguana an unbelievable tale. Iguana is very annoyed with him for the obvious tall tale and puts sticks in his ears to prevent himself from hearing the annoying insect. This one act by Iguana leads to a whole chain of events and eventually will prevent the sun from rising over the jungle each day. When the animals gather to seek help from King Lion, the chain of events will eventually be traced back to Mosquito and his crazy tale. Mosquito’s punishment is to forever be a annoying buzzing in people’s ears.
The book makes a great read aloud for kindergarten or younger elementary aged kids. There are some great connections that can be drawn for language arts, science, and history as well as fun hands-on activities that you can do to reinforce learning after reading Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People’s Ears.

History/Social Studies Connections: a Look at West African Culture

  • On this site you can find a labeled, printable map for the world and for Africa. On the world map, find and color the continent of Africa. On the African map, find and color the sixteen West African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
  • Watch videos on this site to see how children live in various parts of Africa.
  • Use this interactive story– The Legend of the Magic Calabash- to explore African countries and legends. (This is a PBS Kids site.)
  • Use the My Country Study Sheet from the printable resource pack to learn more about a West African country.
Science Connections: In the Rainforest

Language Arts Connections

  • In Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People’s Ears, the author makes frequent use of the literary device onomatopoeia. Read this page to find out more about onomatopoeia. Then try your hand at using some onomatopoeia words.
  • Talk with the children about the ending of the story. Do they like the way the story ended? Why or why not? If they could change the story ending, what would they have happen?
  • Discuss the importance of sequence in a story. It’s important to make sure that you have the events in the right order so that the story makes sense. Use the drawing grid in the printable pack to draw the major events in the story in the order in which they happen.
  • The animals in this story do quite a few things, so the author uses many good action words. Read about action verbs on this page. Then look through the story together and have children pick out action verbs.
  • Use the copywork page in the printable pack to practice handwriting.

Hands On Fun

Other Fun Resources

  • Go West Africa is a website that is full of resources for teaching children about the people and culture of West Africa. There are lesson plans for each country as well as links for games and hands-on activities. There is also a guide that will help children pray for the people groups of West Africa.
  • Rainforest Alliance has a wealth of information about rainforest for kids. There are online games and activities, storybooks, virtual rainforest trip and more.

Extending the Learning With Other Books

literature unit; free printable
To go along with your reading and learning, you can download a free printable activity pack that includes copywork, writing activities, drawing, and more.

Download the Why Do Mosquitos Buzz in Your Ear Printable

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 Leah Courtney is a homeschooling mom of four. Her days are filled with being a mom, homemaker, and teacher. In her (very rare) free time, she enjoys blogging, reading, and reviewing books and curricula. These days she’s learning the joys of being a mom of teens. You can read about her family and homeschooling life at As We Walk Along the Road.



This post is part of the Children’s Literature Unit Study series here at Proverbial Homemaker! 

Children's Literature Unit Studies Series at Proverbial Homemaker

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