Monday, April 24, 2017

Anansi the Spider

In honor of April Fool's Day I wanted to read some trickster tales, so we read Anansi stories and learned about spiders. 


Opening Song: Put Your Hands Up High

Opening Rhyme: Hands Go Up

Story: Anansi and the Talking Melon by Eric A. Kimmel

Movement activity: Spider yoga pose

Story: Anansi Goes Fishing by Eric A. Kimmel

Activity: Label a spider

Final Story: Anansi and the Magic Stick by Eric A. Kimmel

Activity: Spiderweb game

Craft: Resistance painting

Goodbye song

How it actually went: 

I had drawn a giant spider diagram on the whiteboard, so that was the first thing the kids saw when they entered the room. Some of the kids were a little freaked out to see a giant spider, but they quickly noticed the books on the table and made the connection. One of my kids had read all of the books at school, and was well familiar with the stories. 

When we read Anansi Goes Fishing, the children all felt bad for Anansi when he gets tricked into doing all of the work, but gets none of the fish.

The children did a really good job with the label a spider activity. After the first story, I showed them a pre-labeled picture because some of the vocabulary was unfamiliar even to me. I wanted them to have a chance to learn the names for the various body parts first. After the second story, we turned to the larger spider that I had drawn on the board and filled in the blanks. 

After our third story, I tried playing a spider web game with the kids before turning to our craft. It was an idea I found on Pinterest that looked like a lot of fun, but it didn't quite work like I thought it would. The idea is that you use sticky tape (like masking tape) to create a spider web in a door frame, sticky side out. Then the kids get newspaper that they can ball up and throw at the spider web. I don't know if my tape wasn't sticky enough or what, but the newspaper kept bouncing off the web. I think only one or two pieces of paper wound up sticking. 

Next we made some resistance paintings using crayons and watercolors. The kids used a white crayon to draw a spiderweb, and then painted over it with various colors and watched the web appear under the paint. 

Have you used Anansi stories with your kids? What did they think?

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