How to Read Children’s Literature: “Itsy-Bitsy Spider”

What a Reader Is Asked to Know

 About Life

  • This nursery rhyme demands that you have previous knowledge on what a spider is, what a water sprout is, what it means to climb,
  • When something gets wet it becomes slippery making the texture hard to grip and how heat from the sun can dry out something that is wet.
  • The word “Itsy-Bitsy” implies a different characteristic to what a regular “spider” might imply.

About Language

  • How to read in English, as well as having a good understanding as to how words are used together to express different ideas.
  • You have to know that the text is to be read in the order of left to right and top to bottom.
  • Why the words in the beginning of each line are capitalized.

About Literature

  • There is no requirement for the text to be written in complete sentences because it is a poem.
  • What a poem is and its significance as opposed to a non-poetic piece of literature.
  • Even though the literary text is a narration of a spider climbing a water sprout, it is still a form literary entertainment.

What a Reader Is Asked to Do

  • Translate what is presented in front of you into letters that form together into words that work together and express an idea.
  • The understanding that the literature you are reading is a poem which means that you need to pay close attention to the patterns and attitudes that the author uses.
  • Expect to receive some type of pleasure from the literature because it is a form of literature.



The nursery rhyme that I chose to respond to is the Itsy-Bitsy Spider by imitating Klassen’s model in order to perform a thorough analysis of the text. In my opinion, the implied reader of this poem are children because the previous knowledge that you are expected to have before reading this text, as well as what you are suppose to do with the literature, is not as complex compared to other works of literature. Anybody can find the same pleasure I received from reading this simple poem because the concepts and patterns found in this poem aren’t extremely difficult to follow.



2 thoughts on “How to Read Children’s Literature: “Itsy-Bitsy Spider”

  1. How to Read Children’s Literature Post:
    Response to: The Itsy Bitsy Spider
    In this nursery rhyme, the writer expects the reader to know the following about each category:

    About Life- What a spider is, what a water spout is, what rain is, the physical capabilities of the sun and rain, what it means to climb, understand the use of the word wash in this content is not to clean with water but to carry someone or something in a particular direction, the realistic possibilities of the text,

    About Language- How to read English, understand that the English language is read from left to right and top to bottom, understand grammar relationships, understand why itsy bitsy spider might be lower-case throughout the text.

    About Literature- Literary texts can describe things that are factual (which in this case, it did) in a fun way, understand what a nursery rhyme and a poem is and how they differ from non-poetic texts, reading about spiders climbing up and down a water spout can be educational and pleasurable.

    What is the reader Asked to Do?
    -Understand that the nursery rhyme is literature and expect the pleasures that come with reading literature –understand that it is a poem/nursery rhyme and pay attention to rhymes, certain repeated words, patterns, musical aspects, and other qualities a poem/nursery rhyme would have-Understand that the story raises the questions what is spider doing on the waterspout, why is it there, how did it get there, and what will happen next.

    Who is the implied Reader?
    -I believe that the implied reader is a child who likes to observe and has an artistic mind

  2. Again, you have put what should be a post (checked with the appropriate category box) in a comment. If you are unsure or not able to make a post of your own, please see me after class.

Comments are closed.