Spectacular Spiders!

Happy Sunday, friends. FYI - I love my job. Like real, puffy heart, big smile love my job. Friday was our "Spectacular Spiders" day, and with just a little time and some creative thinking, my kiddos had an absolute BLAST while learning. This, folks, is what it's all about. They were engaged, motivated and excited to learn ALL. DAY. LONG - and so was I! Here's a peek at the fun!

Taking a page from the wonderful Hope King's ideas to #setthestage2engage, I sent my kids home with a secret note the night before our spider fun. They were not allowed to open it until they got home. Oh, the excitement!

While my second graders were at home trying to figure out exactly what I was up to... I was in the classroom turning our room into spider central! (All the decorations were either from Party City, The Dollar Tree, or ones I had collected over the years.)

I greeted everyone at the door and had them come inside to get ready for the day. First up - reading the morning message!

Our lab coats are white t-shirts cut up the middle and I made everyone a nametag. (You can click {HERE} to see more about the lab coats.) Our first spider fun was a spider web greeting. One person held the yarn while rolling the ball to another person. By the time everyone was greeted, we had a fun spider web!

I found a cute brain break to do as our morning activity from The Learning Station. It seemed easy at first, but getting those fingers and thumbs to work together was more challenging than everyone thought it would be!

 Then it was time to start the day! I had a Powerpoint ready to go with a slide detailing each task students would complete that day. First up - time to locate, identify and learn about different spider species. I took the info from my spider fact cards {HERE} and added a large clip art picture and real photograph. I had posted these around the room. My scientists' job was to find each spider (using a magnifying glass, of course!), read the info and use what they learned to answer their fact sheet questions.

They were hooked! Some chose to work in partners, while others explored on their own. When everyone was done, we came together at the Scientist Convention and shared what we had learned.
Sharing information was another focus on the day. Our second activity gave students a chance to move around again and talk with others. Each student had a headband with a spider on it. Once they had identified their spider, they were given a card with MORE information about that species. Everyone took a few minutes to read the info to themselves, then the fun began! Students found a partner and read them the information on their spider card. They listened while the other person read their facts, then they worked together to answer true/false questions about their spiders.

We also visited another second grade class and shared our spider facts with a readers theater presentation.

The afternoon began with a review of fact vs opinion. I used a Spider Fact Sort freebie from Amanda Madden to quickly review the two kinds of statements. We did it as a scoot activity, with all the cards in a circle and everyone moving to the next card when I called out "spider scoot!" We read a great book called I'm Trying to Love Spiders, by Bethany Barton.


We used the facts we learned about spiders to make a list of reasons why - or why not! - a spider would make a good pet. Students had to use FACTS (ex. Spiders are hairy; They could get lost as they balloon around the room) not OPINIONS (Spiders are gross.) as their reasons. Everyone chose 3 reasons and we wrote a quick paragraph about out thoughts on having a spider for a pet. We used this adorable spider craftivity from Amy Lemon's and Katie King's October Rooted in Reading resource.

We finished our day with a fun and easy spider snack! Oreos, black licorice, M&Ms and some chocolate frosting was all it took to make these cuties.

Whew! What a day! I was exhausted but we had so much fun! The day's activities gave my kiddos experience with a little research, speaking and listening, writing... and more! If you're interested in looking closer at some spider fun, you can visit my TpT store {HERE}. or check out this BLOG POST.   You can also check out {THIS POST} about how we created a fantastic spider bulletin board to showcase everything we learned about nonfiction text features. That's what we're doing next week!

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1 comment

  1. I love to teach about spiders during the month of October! I bet your class had a blast.

    Teaching Tidbits and More with Jamie


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