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Here are some ideas for teaching about spiders using “Miss Spider’s Tea Party”
Language Arts, Science
K, 1, 2
Title – A Miss Spider’s Tea Party
By – Sarah Lawrence-Lupton
Primary Subject – Science
Secondary Subjects – Language Arts
Grade Level – K-2nd
Throw a Miss Spider’s Tea Party!
1. A week or so before throwing a tea party I have the kids create invitations for the party. You can choose to have them invite themselves, a reading buddy or their families. I have buggy stickers available for the kids to decorate the invitations with. Depending on the level of the students you may also have them practice addressing envelopes. This might also be a good project for an older reading buddy (3rd-5th grade) to do with them.
2. I have the room set up like a birthday party and tea party; with balloons, tablecloths, tea sets, etc. I have iced tea and cake for the kids too. I also scatter realistic looking plastic bugs around the table for the kids to identify during the story.
3. After the kids get used to the “party atmosphere” we read Miss Spider’s Tea Party by David Kirk. I point out that we are eating cakes and tea, just like Miss Spider wishes for. As the story progresses I ask the kids to find the bugs as described in the story (beetles, fireflies, etc) on the tables (the little plastic bugs set out)and hold them up. The kids love this and often run to the book to compare the plastic insects to the pictures. After the story I make sure the kids understand why the bugs were scared of Miss Spider (because most spiders use webs to trap and eat insects) to prepare them for the next activity.
4. After reading the story we compare Miss Spider’s behavior to that of a normal spider by looking at non-fiction books about different kinds of spiders and their webs. If kids don’t know about spider webs or even if they do I ask them how spider man gets around. This gets the kids excited, especially since the release of the new movie.
5. After looking through books about real spiders I give the kids some yarn and a space (under desks, chairs etc, ) and ask them to create spider webs that will work to catch insects…. The books might give them ideas on how best to do this. After they are finished, they can toss cotton balls at their webs to see if they work. Hopefully, they’ll experiment a bit to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
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