Spiders: A Comprehensive Integrated Thematic Unit for Grades 2-4 {Common Core Aligned; science; reading; writing}

I’m so happy to announce that I have added a comprehensive teaching resource focused on SPIDERS to the Clutter-Free Classroom Store. It includes over 100 printable differentiated pages with activities that are perfect and Common Core aligned for students in grades 2-4, but would also work well for 5th graders. 

I used it in my classroom as a two week unit prior to reading Charlotte’s Web {look for details on that unit soon}. This unit is also a wonderful option for the month of October when kids are motivated by all things Halloween. If your school does not allow Halloween in the classroom you will find that this is a great way to make the kids happy without mentioning the holiday. 

{Click to Access and Download this Resource}

 I’ve included a pacing guide outlining how I used it in my classroom as well as a page detailing each of the activities. There is little to no prep involved in using the activities and printing. There are optional materials for creating anchor charts and displays in the classroom which require some cutting and glueing, but they are not necessary as there are printable versions for individual student use as well.

Check out all the images below to see what is included. 🙂

This integrated thematic unit provides teachers and students with a complete collection of printables for a two-week study of SPIDERS. The unit can be used as a stand alone resource or in conjunction with other materials. There is little to no prep involved (just optional anchor charts if you choose to make them) and all you’ll need to add is a collection of books on the topic for your students to use for their research. I’ve even included tips on easily acquiring books and resources.

The packet includes differentiated materials to make modifying simple and enables you to use it with a variety of grade levels and abilities. It is completely Common Core aligned and ideal for second grade, third grade, fourth grade and homeschool, but would certainly be useful to 5th and 6th graders as well.

Included in this packet you’ll find:

  • TEACHER GUIDE: outlines a 2-week pacing plan and details how the materials can best be used
  • SAMPLE CHARTS & DISPLAYS: photographs of charts created using the printables  found in the packet
  • TIPS FOR GATHERING RESOURCES: explains ways to easily acquire books and other resources to use 
  • FACTS AND INFO FOR TEACHERS: provides educators with background knowledge on the topic
  • NON-FICTION SCAVENGER HUNT: familiarizes students with the elements of non-fiction that will be helpful to them when conducting research and learning about the topic
  • THEMATIC BOOKMARKS: both color and ink-saving versions of thematic bookmarks the students may use
  • SCHEMA MATERIALS: individual student charts and materials to create collaborative classroom displays documenting what the students know, wonder and learn as well as a means of addressing misconceptions
  • READ TO FIND OUT: set a purpose for reading by having students list their questions prior to beginning the study and have them record the answers as they discover them
  • NOUNS, VERBS, and ADJECTIVES CHART: gets the students brainstorming related vocabulary
  • CAN / HAVE / and ARE CHARTS: helps to organize student thinking and assists with writing…there are individual student printables as well as a collection of options for creating a collaborative classroom chart
  • VOCABULARY ACTIVITIES: includes word cards with and without definition for a classroom display, individual student charts, and a student created booklet which provides an opportunity for students to illustrate words, use them in context, define them and explain their meaning in their own words
  • WORD STUDY ACTIVITIES: using vocabulary cards or their lists students will alphabetize and sort the words by syllables to strengthen dictionary and spelling skills
  • LABELED DIAGRAM ACTIVITIES: a collection of options for working with diagrams to increase understanding of the topic and related vocabulary; students have opportunities to label images and/or illustrate and label on their own; there is also materials to create a classroom display
  • VENN DIAGRAM: students can deepen their understanding of the topic by finding the similarities and differences between the subject and related things
  • FACTS and OPINIONS: this can be used as an independent work activity or as a center/workstation and provides students with the option of sorting pre-written statements related to the topic or brainstorming and listing their own
  • PROMPT CARDS FOR DISCUSSION OR JOURNALING: students can use these cards to have partner or group discussions on the topic based on both their own thoughts and opinions and ideas gained from research; the cards can also be used as journal prompts 
  • LIFE CYCLE ACTIVITIES: students will have an opportunity to research, illustrate, discuss or write about the life cycle 
  • INFORMATIONAL WRITING PRINTABLES: a large collection of differentiated materials to take students through the writing process including graphic organizers, two-column notes, top-down webs, drafting paper, planners, and thematic final copy paper
  • THE IMPORTANT BOOK ACTIVITY: inspired by “The Important Book” by Margaret Wise Brown, this activity serves as an informal assessment on student knowledge of the topic; it is ideal for creating a class book as well and includes both color and ink-saving black and white covers
  • COMMON CORE STANDARDS ALIGNMENT: a complete list including the standard number and description for all of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade standards that are covered in the materials in this packet.

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