tapestries, nymphs, posture, loom, shuttles, depicted, nereids, dryads, centaurs, betrayals

Facts and details: Literal Meaning

What was Arachne good at?

Who is the goddess of weavers?

How did Minerva disguise herself?

What kind of contest did Minerva and Arachne have?

What did Minerva turn Arachne into?

What’s going on? Reading comprehension

Why was Minerva angry with Arachne at first?

Why did Arachne’s tapestry make her even angrier? How much do you think it added to or subtracted from Minerva’s anger that Arachne did a really good job on the tapestry? Would she have been less insulted, or more insulted, if the work had been of poor quality?

Web connection

Arachne is the Greek word for spider, and it’s also the word for a class of animals that includes spiders. Look up “arachnida” and find out what animals are included in that class. What is the larger group (“phylum”) they are part of? What are the smaller groups (orders) that arachnids are divided into? How are arachnids alike? How are they different from insects?

For help with this topic, explore www.museums.org.za/bio/arachnids.

In your own words…

Arachne’s “trash-talking” makes Minerva furious. Trash-talking has become part of professional sports, but is usually banned for school sports. Do you think (1) professional sports should cut down on this kind of behavior, (2) high school sports officials should lighten up and let kids diss each other to add fun to the game or (3) the balance is about right and should stay that way? Write a persuasive essay favoring one of these points of view.

Newspaper activity

Arachne’s work was excellent, but she was so insulting that Minerva couldn’t stand her and that was her downfall. Look in the editorial section for columns or letters to the editor that might have been more effective if they didn’t contain insults and harsh language. Choose a sentence and rewrite it in a more constructive, polite manner. Can’t find a good example in today’s paper? Try the comics instead!

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