Spider Activities

Temperatures are dropping, leaves are turning colors, school has started and classrooms are diving into fall themed activities! Here are some creepy crawling spider-related resources for you to use with your students this fall.

Simple Spider Poems

Below are two simple word document poems. Use these poems with your student to teach/practice tech-related IEP goals. Students learning basic tech skills can practice opening the poem on their device using their preferred accessibility settings (magnification, screen reader, and/or braille display) to read the poem. Does your student know the commands to navigate by line? by paragraph? by word? Ask your student to find the rhyming words and write the rhyming pairs after the poem at the bottom of the doucment. (This is a great way to practice navigating to the top/bottom of the document, along with simple typing/keyboard skills.) Have the student read the poem and ask comprehension questions. After reading the poem, give your student a 'mixed up' document (lines are in the wrong order and have the student copy/paste the lines. For a more advanced student, ask the student to write down "spider-related words" and match 4 of these words with a rhyming word, then write their own poem! (Did you know that you can do a search for "spider-related words"? Check out this website for list of 500 words related to spiders!)

The Nervous Spider Short Story

Here is a free website of short stories for kids. This digital short story for kids, the Nervous Spider is a great way to work on increasing screen reader listening speed. Have the student read a couple paragraphs (or the whole story) at his/her preferred speed. Speed up the screen reader and listen again. (See 600 Words Per Minute Series for ideas on how to improve listening speeds.)

Favorite Books about Spiders

There are so many wonderful spider books for young children - here is a list of favorite spider books to help you find the perfect book(s)! Read the book aloud, share the book list with parents, and/or ask your student to read the books using their preferred tech or in braille!

  • The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle (Beloved book has tactile spider web.)
  • Pete the Cat and Itsy Bitsy Spider by James Deen 
  • Aaaarrgghh! Spider by Lydia Monks
  • Spider on the Floor by Raffi (Song with motions.)
  • Are you a Spider? by Judy Allen (Simple text that explains about spiders.)
  • Spinning Spiders by Melvin Berger (All about the way spiders create their webs and what webs are for!)
  • Sophie's Masterpiece by Eileen Spinelli (Story about an artistic spider.)
  • Urgency emergency! Itsy Bitsy Spider by Dosh Archer (Eensy Weensy spider goes down the water spout and was injured!)
  • I'm Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton (Amazing facts to help you love spiders!)
  • The Easy Weensy Spider
  •  Freaks out! by Troy Cummings (Eensy Weensy Spider from the spider's point of view.)

Play-Doh Spiders

Does your student know what a spider looks like? If your student is like most of us, we really do not want to touch a real spider, especially a big one! Instead, let's use this fun Playdough craft to build a better understanding about spiders - without having to touch one!

FantasticFunandLearning.com shared how to make Playdough spiders!

Photo: black play dough spider with 8 legs  8 googly eyes sitting on a divided plate with extra materials.

Materials

  • Black Play-Doh 

  • Straws cut into smaller pieces

  • Googly eyes - different small sizes

  • Orange and black chenille stems (pipe cleaners) cut into 3" pieces

  • Spider rings (optional)

Students should create two balls out of black playdough (larger body ball and slightly smaller body). Add the 8 legs (bend the pipe stem cleaner pieces and/or straw pieces). Add googly eyes. If desired, add small spider rings for baby spiders. (Some mother spiders - like the Wolf spider - carry their baby spiders on their back for the first few days after hatching.)

Spider Fun Fact: Spiders have 8 legs that they walk with and they have a pair of legs that they use like hands. Most spiders have 8 eyes! If your students are older or into fun facts about spiders, have the students add 8 legs using one material (such as cut up pipe stem cleaners) and add another set of 'legs' out of straw pieces! Ask your student to research about spiders, such as fun facts or a specific type of spider.

Spider Web Craft

There are many variations of this paper-plate spider web. For students with visual impairments, I really like the heavy-duty white paper plate with cut out notches and black yarn, used in this version of the paper-plate spider web.

Spider Web Materials

  • Heavy-duty white paper plate with 8 "v' notches (small triangles) equally spaced along the edge
  • Black yarn (cut to desired length)
  • Plastic spider
  • Tape

Start with the end of the yarn taped to the back of the plate. Weave the yarn through the notches and across the plate (The yarn crosses behind the plate and comes through at another notch.) Keep weaving the yarn through until the student has the desired number of spider web 'threads'. (The spider web can be twice through each notch (going to different locations) as seen in the picture, or can be numerous times through each notch, creating a thicker web. When done, tie or tape the the final end of the yarn on the back side of the plate. Attach a plastic spider in the web.

photo of a heavy white paper-late with 8 "v" notches evenly spaced around the edge of the plate. Black yarn is wrapped across the plate (thru the notches and behind the plate) to create the spider web. A black plastic spider is in the web.

Spider Tactile Graphics

Remember that young students should first be exposed to 3 dimensional models of the object (in this case a spider or the web before being introduced to a 2 dimensional tactile graphic.

Tactile graphic machine resources:

Note: These spider tactile graphics may be a little more challenging with 8 skinny long legs. Ideally, tactile graphics should have lines that are farther apart - more than the student's finger width. Spider legs are skinny and close together, making them harder to identify each individual leg. However, these graphics can be identified, especially if the student knows that he/she is looking at a spider! The student can first be exposed to the solid spider (large or small) before using the Spider Life Cycle.

Image of solid spider.

Image of the Spider Life Cycle:

Image of Spider Life Cycle with Egg sac, spiderlings, adult spider and eggs with braille labels.

Fall-Themed Resources

Spider Activities Pinterest tag