Sylphie's Squizzes: Golden Wheel Spiders

article by Zoe Disher , photo by Alamy

Write a story from the point of view of a golden wheel spider, using the narrative technique of show don’t tell.

Note: This is a companion activity and works best when completed after the learning resource for Three… Two… One! in this issue.

Read the article as a class. Ask students to identify everything they’ve learnt about the golden wheel spider from the article and photographs. This includes where it lives and what it looks like.

Tell students to imagine the golden wheel spider’s point of view. How might the spider feel its lifestyle? Answers include horror at what the wasp can do, fear, relief that there’s a way to escape, frustration at having to climb the dune again.

If students have completed the accompanying learning resource for One… Two… Three!, have them look over their notes on how the author portrayed the protagonist’s appearance and culture without telling the reader outright Kqarg was an alien.

Ask students to brainstorm ways they could write a short story from the golden wheel spider’s point of view without outright saying the character is a spider, the spider’s relationship to the wasp or the setting/lifestyle of the spider. Give them the following two examples as a starting point.

- I scratched my fuzzy third and fourth legs together and yawned, climbing out of my burrow to greet the sandy morning.

- I heard a buzzing in the distance and felt all eight of my legs tremble. Last time I heard that buzzing, Karl from the next burrow over hadn’t survived. All that was left of him was a larval-filled husk.

Students can write their story from first person point of view (using I/me) or third person point of view (him/her, character’s name), as long as they use the same viewpoint throughout the story.