Now that it’s October, it’s time to talk about all things creepy and crawly! I may not be the biggest fan of spiders, but over the years I have found that they are completely intriguing to students! So, let’s take a look at five spider activities that can be used in the classroom as well as some of my favorite spider picture books!
First things first. When we are covering a topic in reading (or science/social studies), I love to take it across the subjects as much as possible. It adds excitement and the students seem to have an extra level of buy-in. This spider math activity can be used with addition, subtraction, multiplication. or division. I’ve used it as both a subtraction spider and addition arachnid both of which have students solving equations on the legs of the spider.
Spider Fact Hat
It’s pretty well known that I can’t resist a student-made hat! These spider fact hats give students the opportunity to display what they have learned about these eight-legged arachnids. It is also a great way to review facts and opinions. Plus, it makes for a precious class picture!
Compare and Contrast Spiders and Insects
Next up we have charts, charts, and more charts. The wonderful thing about a unit like this is it lends itself to so many teaching opportunities: fact and opinion, text features, comparing/contrasting, researching, fiction vs nonfiction, etc! For this chart, students compare arachnids and insects after reading nonfiction books about both creatures.
Teaching tip: If you create anchor charts on poster boards, they are more durable than a typical anchor chart paper. Use sticky notes and you can save the charts year after year!
Spider Diagrams and Labeling
Another skill that can be touched on is creating and labeling diagrams. Students can draw a picture of a spider and label the parts of the body. We did this as a class first, and then students created their own version of the diagram.
Last on the list of spider activities is research! Using this FREE activity, students research spiders either through books or the websites that I’ve compiled. Students create a research booklet that will contain the information that they gather while researching.
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Spider Picture Books
Before I go, I must share my favorite spider picture books with you. I have a mix of fiction and nonfiction books.
- Spinning Spiders (nonfiction book)
- The Spider (hilarious non-fiction book)
- Spiders by Gail Gibbons (nonfiction book full of interesting facts and illustrations)
- The Spider and the Fly ( a fiction story with a lesson to be learned)
- Are You a Spider? (an interesting nonfiction story)
- Aaaarrgghh! Spider! (a great book to read with a fun and dramatic voice)
- Spiders (great for nonfiction text features)
- Spiders Time for Kids (great for nonfiction text features)
- I’m Trying to Love Spiders (wonderful text and illustrations, definitely a fan favorite!)
Save for Later!
Don’t want to forget these classroom ideas? Pin the image below to save for later!