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Pippa McGeoch

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Katie Barrett

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A Literary Leaf for The Spider and the Fly


KS: R & KS1

Year Group: Year 2

Literary Theme: A Twist in the Tale

Author(s): Mary Howitt and Tony DiTerlizzi

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a 10-session Literary Leaf for the classic poem, The Spider and the Fly. Children use the skills of retrieval to extract the facts presented about spiders before predicting what will happen using the front page.  Key questions are used throughout and opportunities are also given to define the specific vocabulary used. 

Synopsis of Text:

A predatory spider lures a fly into his webby-lair to eat as a tasty snack. At first, the pretty fly with gauzy wings resists the spider’s charms but then succumbs to his flattery and is dragged into his dismal den. She won’t be the first, nor will she be the last… and she joins the ranks of the ghosts of past-flies who have met the same sad end as she has. Gloriously depicted in shimmering and haunting illustrations by Tony Diterlizzi, this 10thanniversary edition won the Caldecott Honor. The addition of a letter to the reader from the spider himself at the end of the text is a brilliant way to support the children’s accessing of this narrative poem and development of inference skills.


Predators, spiders, flies, animals, habitats

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

The Literacy Tree®, Literary Leaves®, Spelling Seeds®, Home Learning Branches® and #TeachThroughaText® are all Registered Trademarks of The Literacy Tree Ltd.
The Literacy Tree CS.301, Clerkenwell Workshops, 27/31 Clerkenwell Close, London, EC1R 0AT | Company Registered no: 07951913