Learning about Spiders with Activities that Kids Love

Learning about Spiders with Activities that Kids Love title

Learning about spiders can be both fascinating and perhaps a bit scary, but kids do love icky things don’t they?  I have been working with my students on close reading strategies, and there are certainly interesting articles on spiders we can use. In this post, I’ll share lots of ideas and resources to help your students with learning about spiders and all of the things they do for us.

Learning about Spiders: Literature

Interestingly, many children are fearful of spiders, and I’d say we are somewhat to blame for tying spiders to Halloween and spooky things. This time of year might be a good time to learn about arachnids as helpers in our ecosystems.

To plan this theme, I have several go-to books.  I love The Very Busy Spider, The Diary of a Spider, and Spiders by Gail Gibbons.  I like to use a blend of fiction and nonfiction texts, and although the first two are fiction, both authors do quite well with weaving in factual information.

On the planning sheet, you will find thumbnails of several freebies on Teachers Pay Teachers too. If you open this link, you’ll be able to download a pdf copy which when opened allows you to access the linked pages.  A printable copy at least reminds you of what the cover pages look like.  

Now I promised a surprise earlier in the week, and that is a freebie!  Last year, I made this unit to go with a very popular book by Eric Carle, but I learned that he has all the titles of his books trademarked. I decided to revise the unit to make it more of a thematic unit. There are pages that go with his book included, but you can use it for other spider literature too.  

Spider unit planning sheet

Learning about Spiders with Activities:

Word Building:

Of course, with your thematic unit, you need to adhere to your standards. But it’s easy to work on themed resources, right? You may not be learning about spiders as you build words, but you might have small conversations about what you’ve seen and learned. Here are a few word building activities to try.

reading lessons:

You need lots of articles and resources to read about spiders too. Below, are a few resources I found that I thought worked well.

Crafts and writing:

I’ll end with a few more resources. These crafts work well for writing. You can make them and work on how to writing or descriptive writing. You could also research and have students write informational paragraphs about spiders too.

Learning about spiders: math

Even though I’m a literacy gal, I will include a collection of math links as well. Of course, who knows if they’ll hit the skills you’re working on.

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Carla is a licensed reading specialist with 27 years of experience in the regular classroom (grades 1, 4, and 5), in Title 1 reading, as a tech specialists, and a literacy coach. She has a passion for literacy instruction and meeting the needs of the individual learner.

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