Sunday, November 03, 2013

Wednesday Writing - Spider vs. Fly

Something a little fun this week from the Writing World of FrynsTown. I completely stole the idea from Jivey, but it was just too fun to pass up. I started out by reading the poem (fable) Spider and the Fly:

The Spider and the Fly
By Mary Howitt 
 
Will you walk into my parlour? said the spider to the fly.
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy,
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to shew when you are there.
Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair, can ne'er come down again.
I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high
Will you rest upon my little bed? said the Spider to the Fly.
There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!
Oh no, no, said the little Fly, for I've often heard it said
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!
Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, Dear friend what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I 've always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice
I'm sure you're very welcome, will you please to take a slice?
Oh no, no, said the little Fly, Kind Sir, that cannot be,
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!
Sweet creature! said the Spider, you're witty and you're wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I've a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,
If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.
I thank you, gentle sir, she said, for what you 're pleased to say,
And bidding you good morning now, I'll call another day.
The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing,
Your robes are green and purple, there's a crest upon your head
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!
Alas, alas! How very soon this silly little Fly.
 
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue
Thinking only of her crested head, poor foolish thing!
At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour, but she ne'er came out again!
And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne'er give heed.
Unto an evil counsellor, close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly. 
 
Then we read an article about how helpful a spider actually is:
http://www.natureofcreation.org/articles/spiders.htm
 
Followed up by whether flies are useful:
http://fohn.net/pictures-of-flies/life-of-the-fly.html
 
I have them take notes on a t-chart to describe how each animal is helpful or harmful. 
 
Finally I give them the choice to write an opinion piece from the point of view of the spider or the fly.  They write up a thought bubble of sorts using the voice of their character and tell the other creature why they should or shouldn't be eaten. They have to use some of the information from the articles to 'prove their point'. 

When they were done I have the more brave of my students read them out loud but using a different voice. Some read like Dracula, some a cowboy, some as a Southern Belle. It gave me a chuckle to hear their arguements. 


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