Creative Writing Task: An Insect’s View

Level: High intermediate – advanced

Writing Skills Focus: Describing a place.

Task: To write a spatial description from an insect’s point of view.


Step 1:  Discuss the questions: If you had to live one day as an insect, what insect would you be? In what kind of place would it be most interesting? Safest?

Step 2: Read the model text.

The Ant and the Sandwich

I am a lucky ant. I climbed this big table, and on it I found a delicious sandwich. I must eat fast before the man returns for his lunch. I began at the bottom with a piece of white bread. It was soft and tasty, but the smell from above made me climb higher. On top of the bread was a piece of chicken. The meat was cold but wonderful. The taste was salty and smoky. The chicken was under a fresh tomato. It was good to eat something juicy after the chicken. I thought I was done, but then I found a slice of cheese and another slice of bread. Between the cheese and the bread was some mayonnaise.  Yum! Right now I’m standing on top of the sandwich. The soft bread is a nice place to rest. I think I might have the time to eat my way down through the sandwich. But maybe I should just crawl down the side and get away before the man comes back.

Step 3:  Pass out copies of the model text. Ask students to identify spatial markers: At the bottom, On top of, Between,… List additional ones on the board.

Step 4: Help students generate ideas for their own compositions. Magazine photos are great sources of inspiration. You can prepare a selection of scenes ahead of time: an office desk, a kitchen table, a bedroom closet, a train car, etc.

Step 5: Ask students to choose the objects they will describe and list them in a particular order (right to left, clockwise, from top to bottom, etc.) This will help them organize their thoughts and choose accurate vocabulary.

Step 6: Students will compose their texts using spatial markers. Supervise and assist as needed. Remind them to title their compositions accordingly.

Step 7: After an appropriate amount of revision, have students share their reports. You can post their descriptions with the accompanying photos on the board.



5 Comments Add yours

  1. CHONA says:

    Just dropping by to say “hello”.
    I like your blog because I learned from you.


    View my blog.

    1. englishwithjennifer says:

      Nice work! You provide a good resource for young English language learners. I’ll certainly take note of the address. Thank you.

  2. Lilly Davies says:

    HI I was just wondering who wrote this description?
    and in what year was it written in?

    1. Hello Lilly,
      I started doing this kind of activity as a classroom teacher in the early 2000s. I don’t recall the exact date I came up with this model. It led to some good writing, though. Students chose office desks, public transportation, and other settings for their insects to explore. The idea isn’t wholly original, since the perspective of an insect is used in other types of classes, such as animation and photography. I found this clip, for example, on YouTube.–iM
      (Very interesting animation exercise.) In creative writing classes, it can be fun to try writing from the perspective of a pet, an alien, an insect, and more. I don’t think I’m the first to suggest this. 🙂

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