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Ahhhh! Spiders!

Now, I must say, I had some absolute fun teaching spiders during the month of October. I did about four 30 minute enrichment lessons and I pulled resources form everywhere. I am going to tell you about what I did because it may give you some ideas to teach your own students.

Lesson 1: I had students write and draw a spider with the body parts they knew to get a general idea of what they already knew. Then I showed students a spider video which tells about whether spiders are poisonous or not and some other spider information.

Lesson 2: I then taught them a spider song which I got from Deanna Jump’s spider resource here. I sang the spider body parts song to the tune of “Are You Sleeping” instead of to the tune of Head Shoulders Knees and Toes. I didn’t really use a lot of her content since I am not a classroom teacher, BUT what I did use I LOVED! During this lesson, I had students point to the spider body parts as if they were a spider. I also pulled a spider diagram from the internet to explain where the spider body parts were.

With our remainder of time, we went outside and the students became “spider hunters”. They were super excited about this. I gave each child one of those cheap plastic magnifying glasses from oriental trading for searching. Prior to searching for spiders, I give a talk about being very careful not to touch, pick up, or damage spiders. Kids will try to smoosh them sometimes if you don’t tell them this. Another important thing to tell students is that they are very big and if they want to see spiders, they need to be slow and quiet. Remind them that is someone 100 times their size was looking at them it would be scary and they would want to run, too.

Lesson 3: We built spiders similar to what Deanna Jump did, but I used black construction paper and modeled how to draw a large oval. Students cut out the black oval and I cut out black circle on the die cut at school. I also cut out strips of black for the legs. Students glued their parts together and labeled the parts with label parts I made. I made labels so that the young students didn’t have to spell the complicated body part words. Depending on the group this took up to two 30 minute slots. Here are some of our finished spiders. We decided not to do Google eyes for time’s sake.

The bows…I totally got from the Deanna Jump resource. In order to get a bow for your spider, you had to have your parts labeled correctly. Not everyone got a bow for their spider 🙂 and they definitely wanted one.

Lesson 4: I read Hey Little Ant which is a story giving students perspective about the size of an ant and of them. At the end of the book, it asks if the ant should be smooshed or stepped on. I used this as a writing prompt for children to write and draw what they would do except I ask them to think about what they would do to a spider. (I did have some children reporting someone smooshed a spider on our spider hunt :(. ) Time overdue for a lesson on empathy.

I hope you can take some of what I have done and use it in your own lessons :). Happy Teaching!

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