October – The Very Busy Spider
This month, in our kindergarten readiness time, we are reading The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle. Every day during literature time, the teacher will read the book aloud while the children following along with their copy of the book. This story is about animals on a farm that try to divert a busy little spider from spinning her web, but she persists and produces a web of both beauty and usefulness. The pictures may be felt (a raised web), as well as seen.
Book Activities for Pre-reading Skills and Literature Appreciation
Introduction to book (predicting/color recognition)
The teacher will show the cover of the book to the children. She will ask the group what they think will happen in the story. She will tell the children the title and author, reminding the children it is the same author as some of the other stories they have read. The teacher will ask the group to look at the picture of the spider on the cover. The children will tell the teacher one color that they see on her. The teacher will ask questions like: Why do you think the spider is so busy? What does she do to keep herself so busy? Where do spiders live and where might they live in this story? They will then go through the book and look at the different kind of animals and guess where the spider might live.
The teacher will tell the group that the story takes place on a farm and ask the children what kind of animals they think will be in the story. Do they think the animals will be friendly?
What do you think? (classifying/feelings)
The book will be read aloud by the teacher. She will ask reflective questions, such as: Would you like to live on the farm? Would you like to be the spider? Why? What would you do if you were a spider? What animals would be your friends?
What would they eat? (classifying/habitats/charting)
The group will read the book together. The teacher will ask the children what kind of food each animal eats. The teacher will chart results.
Spinning a web (recall)
The teacher will read the book with the children. She will ask the children to think of a farm animal. The teacher will show the children how to play by making the sound of her animal and asking the spider a question; ’“Woof! Woof!” barked the dog. “Want to chase the cat?”’ All of the children will respond with: “But the spider didn’t answer. She was very busy spinning her web”. The teacher will then loop a piece a yarn around her finger and roll it to a child, who will take his or her turn being the animal. After every child has had a turn being an animal and looping the yarn around their finger, the web is done. At the end, the group will recite the owl’s page: ‘” Whoo? Whoo” asked the owl. Who built this beautiful web?””
The teacher will take a survey to discover which animal in the story is each child’s favorite. She will place two large plastic farm animals in front of the group and ask the children to vote by using a beanbag. She will record the results and place another two animals out for the children to vote. The teacher will then ask questions such as: Which farm animal is most popular? Which one is the least liked?
If you were a spider (feelings/dictation)
The teacher will ask the group if they were a spider, where would they like to live. Who would be their friends? What would they eat? What would their name be? Do spiders have names? How long would it take them to spin a web? The teacher will write down responses and post.
Who said it? (listening)
The teacher will record each child saying “but the spider didn’t answer. She was very busy spinning her web”. The group will then read the book together, playing the recording each time it comes to that part in the story. The group will try to guess who said it.
Who am I? (dramatic play/observing)
The children will take turns imitating animals from the book. The teacher will have the other children try to figure out what animals they are acting like.
Farm pictures (imagination/dictation)
The teacher will have the children draw a picture of their favorite part or favorite animal in the book. She will have them tell her about their picture and she will write down their dictation on the bottom of the page.
Tell it with props (dramatic presentation)
The teacher will read the book to the group. She will have the children pick out animals that are in the story and use them to tell their own story.
The children will use the farm animal sorters to act out the story as the teacher reads the book to the group.
My favorite part is… (recall)
The group will read the story together. The teacher will have each child open their book to their favorite page. She will ask them to tell the group why it is their favorite.
Rubbing hands together (listening)
The teacher will ask the children to listen to the story and when they hear the word “spider” they are to rub their hands together.
Why can’t I have a spider? (classifying animals/charting)
The group will read the book together. The teacher will ask which animals would or would not be a good house pet. Why? Why not? The teacher will chart results by using a smiley face for a yes and a frowning face for a no.
Alphabet Soup (letter recognition)
The teacher will spread out A-H foam letters in the middle of the circle. She will tell the group that it’s soup…alphabet soup. Next, she will write a letter on the paper, name it, and ask a child to find that letter in the soup.
The teacher will have the children act out the story while she reads the book to the group. The children can volunteer to be different animals, including the spider. When the teacher reads, “The spider didn’t answer” the child acting as the spider can cover their ears with their hands, shaking their head no.