A Web of Works: Non-Fiction + Poetry

In case you missed it, the hive mind gave great suggestions this weekend to supplement my lesson where students study an argument about whether we should kill spiders we find in our homes.

First, the main activity (click here to learn more about this set of materials):


Real-world rhetoric lesson to get students thinking and discussing how strong arguments are built. Print-and-teach materials at linktr.ee in bio. or go here: tinyurl.com/2xkc9fkx #teach #teachers #teachertiktok #teachersoftiktok #teachertok #teachertalk #English #Englishteacher #ela #secondary #teaching #middleschool #highschool #homeschool #studentteacher #firstyearteacher

? original sound – Laura Randazzo

Next, teachers gave great suggestions to expand the lesson by adding an examination of two poems that, on their surface, are also about people approaching spiders – but they’re actually about much more. Thanks to @elawithday and @call_me_tabitha on TikTok for these poetry suggestions.

“Allowables” by Nikki Giovanni:

Want a full-text copy of the poem? Visit the Get Lit Anthology site to access a copy you can use in class and to learn more about Giovanni:

The next poem is, “Mercy,” a response to Giovanni’s work written and performed by Rudy Francisco:

A full-text copy of “Mercy” is available here: https://getlitanthology.org/poemdetail/306/

To help guide students as they analyze the poems, ask questions like:
• What do you notice in these lines? What parts stand out to you?
• On the surface level, what are these poems about?
• On a deeper level, what are these poems actually about? How do you know? 
• How do specific word choices, including the titles, support the poet’s message?
• What questions would you have for the poet/s?

Finally, as students pack up at the end of class, you could lighten the mood with a few Lucas the Spider shorts, including this one (suggested by TikTok’s @the_music_hall). Sorry, YouTube won’t allow embedded playback of this video, so you’ll need to click over to the creator’s YouTube page to experience the cuteness.

Keep weaving, teacher friend!

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