I used to have a tarantula. It was a classroom pet. He was neat to have, but I miss him so seldom. I did miss him on spider day. He would have been really fun to bring in. The kids would have been floored! I gave him to my old classroom assistant when I had Bee. She came to me a few years later and told me to sit down, that she had some difficult news. Ross (formerly known as Rosie) had died. I was clearly not as torn up about it as she had been. I'm unattached like that to spiders, even pet spiders.
Anyway, we had fun on spider day. Creepy creepy fun. It's funny, some days I don't even get one story read to the class, most days I have time for one really good one, spider day I read four. Here are the four I read, Spiders by Seymour Simon, The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle, Diary of a Spider by Doreen Corin, and Itsy Bitsy, The Smart Spider by Charise Mericle.
I started with The Very Busy Spider. I had scanned the animals in the story and printed them out so we could talk about the 'characters' as we read the story. I used the word 'characters' a lot as we were adding them to the flannel board. At the end, we used the character pictures to do some simple retelling. This is a simple book with some repetitive lines, but I could pass up the opportunity to use it for work on characters and the retelling.
I also made up a set of little pictures for the story sticks, but we just used those at home. I didn't have time to make a class set. I picked up the book the day before at Kohls. It was part of their $5 Kohls Cares books. Unfortunately, the stuffed animal that went with it was the sheep and not the spider.
Then we referred to several non-fictions for the photograph pictures. As I showed the photos, we talked about some spider facts, spider body info, etc and worked on labeling this drawing of a spider.
Later, I read Itsy Bitsy, The Smart Spider. This book was so funny. It was one I'll keep my eyes out for at book sales. Then we worked on some rhyming matching with these spiders and webs.
The pictures on the spiders are the same ones I used in this ladybug lesson. They are from an old Mailbox magazine, but I've seen some color sets on pinterest, like this small set from Lawteedah, and this set from A Teeny Tiny Teacher which you can get free on her Teachers Pay Teachers site.
I passed out the spiders to the kiddos and laid all of the webs on the rug. The kids took turns and found the web for their spider. I made the spiders from two different sized black circle and black yard legs. It's all laminated to keep it nice. I was too lazy to go dig up some clear tape or a glue stick, so the pieces are taped together with green painters tape. It was handy.
Here was the craft. Small black paper plates were slit along the edges and the kids wove white yarn around it make a web. About half way through the wrapping and weaving, they strung on a black spider ring and then completed the wrapping.
At the end of the day I had time for one last activity. I had quickly made this web out of a piece of black felt and some white thread. I zig zagged the lines using my sewing machine.
I passed out these lovely toy spiders. I have seen similar ones at the dollar store. These are from the teacher store and were part of a math story problem pack that I used to use at Halloween time when I taught 2nd and 3rd grade. First, I had the kid locate all of the body parts we had discussed; the head, the abdomen, the 8 legs, the multiple (usually 8), the pedipalps, the jaws and the spinnerets.
Next, each spider was given a picture card. The spider was to whisper the word in my little friend's ear. The spider was hopefully able to whispers it like this... "house, /h/, /h/, /h/, house." I called out letter separately, saying I wanted to see all of the spiders with Hh /h/, /h/, /h/ words. They brought them up and placed them on the web. I went through and said them all aloud with the beginning letter sound and then cleared them off and called another letter.
These picture cards are from The Polka Dot Patch. She only had 7 beginning letters on this particular printable but I suspect if I dug around a little more on her blog, I bet there are others.