Search form

Lice Have Never Been Such Fun!

"Respect a louse's favorite rule: To get a-head, invade a school!" Told from the point of view of the louse, a clever new book from Scholastic offers facts about lice in humorous rhyme. The book's message is clear: Cooperation is the key to ridding a school population of these all-too-common pests. This book belongs in every school nurse's and media specialist's collection -- just in case the inevitable occurs!

Lots of Lice Book Cover

         "Respect a louse's favorite rule.
To get a-head, invade a school!
         Our oval eggs are known as nits.
And nits can give your school nurse fits."

What teacher who has been around a few years hasn't hunted through students' hair with a fine-tooth comb? Head lice are one of the hazards of the profession. Scholastic has published a clever new book that makes light of lice while teaching kids the facts about them. Here are a couple of examples:

Lice are microscopic pests.

"No one knows just how many
lice could fit on just one penny.
We're little guys. We don't have wings.
But, oh, how we can louse up things."

Lice have been around for millions of years.

"We've been on Earth for years and years.
We brought the ancient Greeks to tears.
Some of us were even found
On mummies that were neatly bound.

Author Bobbi Katz's Lots of Lice ( Cartwheel Books) is a cleverly humorous little book! Her rhyming volume teaches -- and preaches -- the value of cooperation against one of every school nurse's worst nightmares! For

"One thing every cootie hates
is when a school cooperates.
Families working together can stop our show.
Please, Nurse, don't tell the P.T.O.!"

Every school librarian and every school nurse should have a copy of Lots of Lice. Be prepared when the inevitable occurs. Just drag out the book and share it with kids, who will get the message of the book loud and clear! With book in hand, any teacher or nurse can do the following:

  • Start by showing the cover and pictures and ask students to predict what the story is about.
  • Talk about the vocabulary words introduced in the story (for example, louse and lice, and nits), and discuss their meanings.
  • Read the rhyming text aloud.
  • Invite a student to reread the book aloud. (You might also pass it around and invite each student to read one of the simple rhymes -- with expression, like an actor!)
  • Talk about the funniest parts of the book, and answer students' questions. Be sure to emphasize, again, the importance of cooperation in ridding the school of louse-y invaders!

As a follow-up to reading the book, you might also talk about some of the fun language and plays on words (for example, "To get a-head, invade a school!"). You might invite students to look closely at the details in Steve Bjorkman's comic illustrations. Your students might enjoy copying their favorite rhyming text from Lots of Lice and drawing their own funny pictures to accompany it.


If you're a school nurse or a teacher looking for handouts to share with parents or want more information about head lice, you might check some of these additional online resources:

  • American Head Lice Information and Resource Center includes a page of frequently asked questions, a battle plan for persistent infestations, facts sheets about lice, images of lice, and news of an informative video.

  • Head Lice -- From a Scientific Viewpoint offers this Web page about lice. School nurse Gerri Harvey shares information and steps that school nurses and teachers might take if an infestation occurs.

  • Childhood Infections -- Head Lice The medical experts at offer this page of information about head lice, including signs and symptoms, a description, prevention, incubation, duration, contagiousness, and home treatment.

  • HeadLice.Org, from the National Pediculosis Association, includes news, frequently asked questions, helpful handouts, books, a video, and more. Most materials offered on the site are for sale.

  • The ABCs of Safe and Healthy Childcare Head Lice Page The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supply a fact sheet, "What You Should Know About Head Lice in the Child Care Setting."

  • Head Lice Information, from the Harvard School of Public Health, offers information and responses to frequently asked questions.

Lots of Lice, written by Bobbi Katz and illustrated by Steve Bjorkman, is published by Cartwheel Books, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc. The book is available in bookstores. If you are unable to locate a copy, ask your bookseller to order one for you or call 1-800-SCHOLASTIC.

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World® Editor-in-Chief
Copyright © 1999 Education World

Related Articles from Education World