Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Spider and the Fly: Mentor Text for Halloween

Linking up with Collaboration Cuties for their Must Read Mentor Text!
I love The Spider and the Fly for Halloween! The black and white illustrations are gorgeous and students find this text so engaging!

As I said, the black and white illustrations are beautiful and can lend to some deep discussion.
 The very first illustration can open a discussion if your students think the spider will be good or evil. Then show them other illustrations and ask them if that makes them re-evaluate their initial impression of the spider. Would the tone or mood of the story change if the illustrations were in color?
The spider deceives the fly with flattery. Have students listen and jot down specific examples of how the spider uses flattery to lure the fly in.
This picture book is also perfect to teach character traits (the spider is portrayed as cunning, persistent, smooth-talker, the fly is portrayed as meek and innocent).
 If you don't have this mentor text, I found a read aloud of it on YouTube (it's ok).
Here is The Spider and the Fly-Animatic version
I like to have my students write a story from the spider's point of view after reading this book. They take on the role of the spider and defend his actions and intentions. It's great to show a different perspective. An added activity would be to research spiders to defend their papers with facts.
(Predators, prey, how spiders help people, webs, role ).
I decorate a bulletin board with spider webs and title it Writer's Web.
If you'd like this bulletin board header, click on the image to grab it for free.

Have a SUPER week and check out all the other great texts linked up with my buddies Amanda & Stacia! 
Congratulations Nancy! You won my Teacher Postcards Pack!
Thank you everyone for playing Pin to Win! 


  1. I have never seen this book! It looks awesome and I love the way that you use it (of course I do!)!! You are right, the illustrations ARE gorgeous!!

    Thanks so much for linking up! My cart is full!!
    Collaboration Cuties

  2. Ah! I love love love this book... but I don't have my own copy..... guess what's going in the cart? :)

  3. I remember talking about this book in college...but I don't have a copy of it. I'm going to have to grab one for myself. Thanks for the reminder!
    Hunter's Teaching Tales
    Find me on Facebook

  4. This book looks so interesting!! Makes me wish I taught writing!!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  5. I love this book - you are right the illustrations are fantastic. I love introducing it to my students! Love your writing activities - a little perspective, a little science, a lot of awesomeness! Thanks for the great ideas on how to use a book I own in a new way.

  6. I've heard of The Spider and the Fly, but haven't read it yet so thanks for linking to the YouTube version. Now I'll have to check it out before Halloween - it looks like a perfect Halloween read-aloud!

    Love to Learn

  7. So glad I came across this post yesterday. We are currently in a "close reading spider unit"... which is something I have obviously invented to engage my kids in close reading! We are reading a variety of fiction and non-fiction about spiders and will ultimately decide if spiders are portrayed fairly in fiction- do they live up to their bad reputation? This book was SUCH a perfect fit for our unit! I used it today as a read aloud before we will use it as a text for a close read and the kids loved it!! You are so right about the conversation generated from the illustrations alone. Thank you so much for the recommendation!

    Polka Dots & Teaching Tots

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