''A Noiseless Patient Spider'' by Walt Whitman

Contributor: Suzanne Riordan. Lesson ID: 14029

Poets have a way of turning simple everyday events into meaningful moments. The poet Walt Whitman observed a spider spinning a web and related it to his soul, seeking a connection to hold on to.


Comprehension, English / Language Arts

English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Beaver, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Walt Whitman is one of America's most famous poets.

Walt Whitman portrait

Watch the video below to learn a little about him before studying his poem.

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Now, explore several presentations of one of Whitman's poems.

First, read the poem "A Noiseless Patient Spider" by Walt Whitman.

  • A noiseless patient spider,
  • I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
  • Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
  • It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
  • Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.
  • And you O my soul where you stand,
  • Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
  • Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
  • Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
  • Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

Next, listen to an audio recording of the poem.

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Finally, watch the video below to view three more presentations of this poem in different media. As you watch, consider which medium — paint on glass, video, or scratchboard — is most effective.

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  • Which presentation did you like best?

Move to the Got It? section to look closely at Whitman's poem.

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