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SWBAT discuss the myth, “Arachne,” relating it to literary terms previously learned (theme, characterization, symbolism). They will also be able to relate theme to their own experiences.

Big Idea

What happens when you insult a god?


10 minutes

To introduce this myth, students responded to the following prompt:

What does it mean to be “arrogant”?  We have all met people who seem to act better than others.  How do you and others react toward this person?  What lesson can you take away from this type of situation?


After students wrote a response, we spent time sharing experiences.

Read "Arachne"

20 minutes

Before reading the text, students number the paragraphs.  I have them do this, so that as we conduct a classroom discussion, students can easily refer to the specific section.  Also, as they write responses and use textual evidence, they are required to notate the paragraph from which the support was taken.

As students read “Arachne” by  Olivia Coolidge independently, they marked the text for descriptive phrases that help them visualize the myth. Throughout the year, they have repeatedly used metacognitive markers (see Resources) as they read.  They also marked the text by making notes in the margins identifying text that helped them characterize Arachne and Athena.


15 minutes

In small groups, students gathered their evidence located in the myth that described the sensory details which helped them visualize the story. If a student did not have the correct information, they could add notes to the margins of the text and highlight textual evidence that supported these ideas.

Students also characterized Arachne and Athena referring  to the textual evidence as their support for personality conclusions drawn.  

Groups shared with the whole class compelling examples of evidence and made inferences about the character traits of Arachne and Athena.


Watch "Arachne" video


5 minutes

In order to remind the students of the myth, we watched a short youtube video of Arachne.  As they watched this video, I asked them to think about what they had envisioned occurring in the myth as they read.  How did this video compare in relationship to thoughts they had as they read the myth.