Activities on "Anansi and the Talking Melon"

by Tara Dodrill

"Anansi and the Talking Melon" activities bring the story to life for students and enhance comprehension of the text. Anansi is a clever little spider who uses wisdom and wit to trick his friends. Students can gain a deeper understanding of the story through hands-on activities. Comprehension, writing and art activities engage the students in plot and character discussions.

Character Analysis

The characters in "Anansi and the Talking Melon" have very distinct personalities. Use hands-on activities to help students understand and analyze each of the main characters. Print an image of each character and staple it to a piece of poster board or bulletin board display. Use vocabulary words and related terms from the text to describe each character. Give each student at least one word to affix to the chart beneath the appropriate character. To teach character comprehension, ask the students to complete Venn diagrams that focus on two or more main characters. A Venn diagram is a diagram of two or more interlocking circles that show points in common between two or more categories.

Predicting Activities

Plan a predicting activity to coincide with reading "Anansi and the Talking Melon.” Show students the front and back cover and discuss what they think will happen in the story based upon the illustrations. Provide a related worksheet or instruct students to write a short answer detailing their predictions. Review the papers after completing the book to see how many students were able to infer the outline of the story correctly. You could also offer small prizes, such as erasers, pencils or stickers, for students who predict a scenario closely related to the story. Give students drawing paper to illustrate a scene based upon their prediction.

Comprehension Activities

Engage the students in a discussion about the story’s main character Anansi. After talking about the spider, have students write at least three words each to describe the character. Tell the students to each find a sentence in the book to support the three-word description and write it on the paper beneath the words, along with the page number where the information was found. You can repeat this comprehension and research exercise with other main characters in the book.

Writing and Art Activities

Infuse a bit of art with a language arts twist after completing the story. Copy a spider head, body and legs onto card stock paper for tracing purposes. Students cut out and trace the shapes onto black construction paper and glue them together. Have each child write a characteristic specific to Anansi on each leg with white chalk. Instruct children to use at least two sentences to tell others what they liked about the storybook or argue why others should or should not read the book. Each child should use at least two sentences to tell others what he liked about the storybook or detail why others should or should not read the book. Glue or staple the spider to the side of the melon and hang the finished pieces on the wall or bulletin board outside the classroom.

About the Author

Tara Dodrill began writing professionally in 1990. She is a travel writer and photographer working for print and online media, primarily covering Florida, ecotourism and off-the-beaten-path destinations. Her writing credits include RUMBUM, Yahoo News, Visit South magazine,and North Carolina Coastal Guide. She studied journalism and education at Ohio University and real estate at Hondros College.

Photo Credits

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