Big Universe.com features the online children's book "Why Animals Live in Webs," published by Weekly Reader.
The “writing spiders” were missing this summer. I didn’t even count one. Perhaps it was too hot for them, but maybe they’ll show up now that the southern sauna is cooling down.
Normally, their elaborate webs appear overnight, slung under the eaves of my house. The garden spiders’ artistry would catch me by surprise as I sipped my coffee and peeked out my windows at the new day. Early morning sunlight would catch the heavy night dew, bejeweling the webs in an array of sparkles. The spiders were bright yellow and black and large, so they made quite a statement.
I may not wear bold colors or be as productive and clever as an Argiope aurantia, but I can watch and appreciate them. I’ve looked them up on the Internet, but have also found information closer to home. Big Universe has several online children’s books about spiders. I like Weekly Reader’s “Why Animals Live in Webs” in particular. Its pages are full of facts, vocabulary words and pictures. The book has an online reading quiz, too. (F&P GR: K, Lexile: 800, ATOS: 4.1)
Keeping with the theme… I recently found a cute counting game for K-5 and older. It’s called “Trap the Spiders” and would make a nice resource for a math station. It’s also a good rainy day activity for when it’s too soggy to go outside to play.
The activity, which I spotted on the “Math Salamanders” website, involves a game sheet, dice, spider counters and score sheets. There’s a little preparation involved – mostly cutting – but it’s an inexpensive numeracy project. Laminate the pieces for durability and store them in a Ziploc®.
The rules are simple: “catch” as many spiders as possible. One to four children can play at a time per game board. While having fun, they will practice counting the spots on the dice as well as the spiders that are removed from the web on the game sheet. The following three links will take you to the game’s instructions, board game sheet and spider pieces.
Spider Counting Game
* Do you have a child who is fascinated by insects? There is a “Swarm of Bug Books at Big Universe” and a bunch of other high-interest topic books, too.
* Are you interested in other file folder activities? Check out the Big Universe blog “Fun with File Folder Games,” written by Dawn Little.
Posted on May 10, 2011 by Suzan Woodard in Personal Experiences, Reading Lists, Uncategorized.
Tags: Brain Drain, Bug Books, Cicadas, Insect Books for Children, Ladybugs, Reading Loss, Summer Fun for Kids, summer reading, Summer Setback, Summer Writing
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Big Universe has children's picture books about ladybugs, cicadas, bees, crickets and more.
Summer is on its way and like it or not, so are the bugs. Most adults have lost their fascination with insects and other creepy-crawlies, but don’t underestimate the power of a six-legger to keep a child occupied.
I recently attended a high school track meet – one that lasted a long time. There was a delay in the action, so I watched a charming little girl play nearby. She was not holding an electronic device or the latest plastic plaything from Toys R Us. Nope. That 3-year-old was playing happily with a ladybug. It occupied her for THREE HOURS!
She did not whine to go home. She did not beg for candy. Nor did she pull a “Grace Van Cutsem,” when the crowd cheered loudly for the relay runners on the track. She simply let her ladybug crawl up one arm and down the next, making a bug-friendly bridge with her chubby, but gentle, index fingers.
I am inclined to think she would enjoy the two online picture books about ladybugs that Big Universe offers. The website has an amazing assortment of fact-filled bug books for junior entomologists. The pictures are exquisite, so pre-readers can enjoy the books on their own or alongside a grownup.
The Big Universe Author Tool provides another way for kids to process what they find in their own backyard. They can write about the bugs they discover in the flowerpots on their deck or crawling in the lawn. The writing tool can be used to create a field notebook to record life cycles, feeding habits and other observations. The website’s “Insect” clipart lets children illustrate their writing easily.
Reading bug books, going on a scientific bug hunt, and writing about it on a computer are a fun combo to ward off summer setback – or “brain drain.” (Experts say reading a minimum of six books is enough to keep children from losing literacy gains made during the previous school year.) The physical activity will keep their bodies healthy, too.
Children’s Books About Bugs
Other BU Blogs About Summer Reading:
Summer Reading Lists: Cats, Dogs and Horses
Batter Up! Baseball Stories for Summer Reading
The ABCs of Car Games: Part One
The ABCs of Car Games: Part Two
The ABCs of Car Games: Part Three
Fight Summer Setback with Free Books
Top 10 List: Golden Opportunities of Summer
Children, Books and Summer Vacation
Reading in the Summer