Du Iz Tak?
Written and Illustrated by Carson Ellis
Du iz tak? What is that? As a tiny shoot unfurls, two damselflies peer at it in wonder. When the plant grows taller and sprouts leaves, some young beetles arrive to gander, and soon—with the help of a pill bug named Icky—they wrangle a ladder and build a tree fort. But this is the wild world, after all, and something horrible is waiting to swoop down—booby voobeck!—only to be carried off in turn. Su! With exquisitely detailed illustrations and tragicomic flair, Carson Ellis invites readers to imagine the dramatic possibilities to be found in even the humblest backyard. Su!
Primary Source Pairing:
Insects communicate in a variety of ways. Author and illustrator Carson Ellis presents a whimsical take on the conversations of insects in this book. For this primary source pairing, invite students to listen to a recording of a cricket chirping while thinking about insect communication. This multi-modal learning experience will include visual literacy, auditory listening, and reading comprehension as students discuss Du Iz Tak?.
For more information on insect communication, check out the NPR piece titled “Good Vibrations Key to Insect Communication” which includes multiple sound bites of insects talking to each other and the explanation of how and why.
For a text to text connection on animal communication, pair Du Iz Tak? with Glow: Animals with Their Own Night-Lights by W.H. Beck which focuses on the communication techniques of bioluminescence.
Questions for Discussion:
- Listen closely.
- Describe what you hear.
- What surprises you about what you hear?
- Have you heard this sound before? Where?
- Does this sound make you think of anything? What?
- How does the communication of this cricket connect to the communication of the insects in Du Iz Tak?
Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Cricket sound: SoundCloud
“DU IZ TAK” AND DECODING/INFERRING ACTIVITY by Book Nerd Mommy