Sunday, October 19, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 19!

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 many curious things to show 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 counselor, close heart and ear and eye,  

And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.

If there ever was a more chilly cautionary tale than this 100+
year old poem, I've yet to hear it! It will engage students of
all ages (maybe skip K). Read it aloud and ask for synonyms
of all of the bold print words or phrases. What are the three
questions that the Spider asks the Fly? What were her
three answers? Which answers signals a change in her
attitude, and what does the Spider do then? Students will 
find it helpful to mark important words or lines with a 
highlighter. It also helps engage younger students!

How does the Spider get her to come back, and what
happens to her when she does?

A Common Core standard is the ability to interpret themes.
What does the class think the theme or message is in this
poem/story? Is it still a worthwhile message to learn, 100
years later? Why? (Let's give some evidence, people!)

Other ideas spring to mind. A Circle Map about the Spider
character, and another about the Fly. What words from 
the poem can be used in each?

I love this video that allows the illustrator, Tony Di Terlizzi,
to share how he used his own black and white artwork as
well as computer-generated images to make the creepy
pages. View the video here:

Don't forget to check out the many, many awesome crafts
and spider-related graphic organizers on my "October 
Ideas" pinterest board. Just click up on the right!  

Happy Reading!
Till Next Time,

No comments:

Post a Comment