18th June 2004 at 01:00
ALL KS We are suspicious of insects - they sting, carry disease, and look alien.

We react to them emotionally or instinctively, rather than rationally. We are rarely neutral, or calm, or dispassionate in our encounters with insects. Insect-related language activities:

* Speaking and Listening - recall and recount painful or disturbing insect experiences. (Remember Billy Caspar and the frogspawn?)

* Descriptive writing - describe both the feelings that insects arouse in us, and close physical description of the insects themselves. (Both are beautifully modelled in An Egyptian Hornet by Algernon Blackwood.) www.sff.netpeopleDoyleMacdonaldl_hornet.htm

* Factual, research-based writing - the Internet is full of excellent source material and images for informative pieces

* Exploration of bias in writing - presenting the same insect positively as well as negatively.

"Insects in Literature" at www.kean.eduscodellaInsLit.html offers a three-page reading list, much of available electronically, which could form the basis of an insect anthology.

Harry Dodds

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