Spider Choral Reading

Author: Cassie Walker
Year: 2015
Artform: Theatre
Subjects: Science
Grade: Kindergarten
Duration: 30 minutes
Overview:

Spiders: creepy crawlies, or amazing arachnids? Invite your kindergartners into the webbed world of our eight-legged friends as they adopt the characteristics and behaviors of spiders.

SUPPLIES, EQUIPMENT AND RESOURCES

  • Science Discovery Materials:
    Non-fiction books about spiders
    Photos or videos of spiders
    A live spider in a clear container would be even better!

Poem “I’m a Little Spider”:

I’m a little spider
Watch me spin.
If you’ll be my dinner
I’ll let you come in.
Then I’ll spin a web
To hold you tight
And gobble you up
In one big bite!

Note: The teacher does not need a poster or physical copy for the class to look at. In fact, it is easier for memorization and better for phonemic awareness if the students are not trying to read the words.

Download PDF Lesson Plan

Standards & Objectives

Fine Art Standards
Integrated Standards
Objectives

KINDERGARTEN UEN INTEGRATED CONTENT STANDARD 1, OBJECTIVE 3C:

Describe sounds in terms of dynamics (loud/ soft), pitch (high/low), duration (long/short; fast/slow), and timbre (tone of an animal, human, musical instrument, or machine).

KINDERGARTEN UEN 1997 THEATER STANDARD 1, OBJECTIVE 2A:

Plan and imitate the sounds and movements of animals.

KINDERGARTEN SCIENCE STANDARD 4, OBJECTIVE 1A:

Construct questions, give reasons, and share findings about all living things.

KINDERGARTEN COMMON CORE ELA CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.A:

Recognize and produce rhyming words.

Students will imitate the behavior and characteristics of spiders by adding character and vocal variation to the poem “I’m a Little Spider.”

Teaching and Timeline

Introduction

Attention Getter/Warm Up: Guess My Song?

(2 minutes) The teacher gives hints or performs the actions to help the students guess the song: “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.” When the students guess the name of the song, everyone sings and performs the actions together.

Demonstration

Science Discovery:

(8 minutes) The teacher introduces spiders using non-fiction books, realistic photographs or videos of spiders, and/or a live spider in a clear container. Using a variety of different materials will help the students compare and contrast different kinds of spiders using their own observations. Students will share their findings about spiders. The teacher may direct the discussion to cover the following facts:

Work Period

(10 minutes) The teacher teaches the poem to the Kindergartners, one line at a time, repeating from the beginning periodically. (Don’t miss this opportunity to point out rhyming words.) On each line, students apply what they’ve learned about spiders to vary the poem, by adding movement, or changing dynamics, pitch, or duration. Ideas for vocal variation, movement, or character should come from the students, but the teacher can coach using questions like “How can we make this line different from the last one?” or “Can you show how a spider ______ with your body?”

Closure/Summary

Performance

(10 minutes) Students perform the poem in groups. The teacher may divide the room half and half, boys and girls, by what color students are wearing, etc. Perform again and again!

INTEGRATION INFORMATION

Coach the students to apply their knowledge of spiders to inform their decisions about body movement and vocal variation. The choral reading should have scientific meaning; not just “cute” actions or voices. For example, “And gobble you up in one big bite”: there is a difference between how a spider takes a “big bite” and how a kindergartner takes a “big bite.”

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS
  • How do spiders look?
  • How do spiders behave?
  • What and how do spiders eat?
  • How can I change my body movements to imitate a spider?
  • How can I change my voice to show what is happening in the poem?
  • Which words in this poem are rhyming words?
DIFFERENTIATION

Adapt as necessary for students with individual abilities and needs.

HISTORICAL ELEMENT

Choral readings come from ancient Greek theatre, in which the “Chorus” would narrate the play as a group of people singing, speaking, or dancing together as a commentary on the action.

VOCABULARY
  • Poem
  • Rhyme
  • Cephalothorax
  • Abdomen
  • Spinnerets
  • Pedipalps
  • Dynamics
  • Pitch
  • Duration
  • Timbre
ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES

PERFORMANCE CHECKLIST:

  • Students memorized and performed the spider poem.
  • Students added body movement to the piece.
  • Students varied vocal dynamics, pitch, duration, and/or timbre in their piece.
  • Students’ vocal variation and body movement was taken from actual information about spiders.

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