
Math Activity Themes: Spiders 

Spider Math Activities
Each of these activities capitalize on students' fascination with spiders. They develop mathematical concepts using a spider theme.
Spider Web Math MatsSpider Web Math uses a spider web mat to model addition problems. Students roll a die and place that many spiders on the big web. They roll the die again and place that many spiders on the small web. Next, students write the number sentence that tells how many spiders there are altogether on both webs. The file contains spider web mat, spider counters (optional), directions and recording sheet for this activity. Place the spider web mat in a sheet protector and use dry erase markers for a reusable classroom activity. Place the materials in a math center for additional student practice. 

NameCollection Spiders
Ms. Collier's and Ms. Rachko's classes created NameCollection spiders for Halloween. These fourth grade students at Joseph C. Caruso School in Keansburg, NJ, extended the Everyday Math namecollection box routine to writing 8 different names for each number, one for each spider leg.
Spider Glyphs & Graphing Ideas
Spider Glyphs
 Students simply color in this Spider Glyph to record data.
Spider Graphing
 See the results of the Spider Poll Mrs. Ritenour's students administered. Third graders created a pictograph, titled, Do You Have Arachnophobia? of the results for all to see. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but each spider is only worth 2 votes.
MathLiterature Connections: Spiders
The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle 
Math Activities: Patterns

Spider Games

Catch the Spider GameCatch the Spider Game: students try to catch their opponent's spiders by identifying the correct coordinate pair. If the student fails to find the spider, then he/she is caught in the web and loses his/her turn for that round. There are two 5point spiders and ten 2point spiders to be caught, making the game a bit more challenging as students try to capture the most points. The game file contains the gameboard, spider pieces, directions and a recording sheet. This seasonal version of the classic Battleship game provides practice in forming coordinate pairs, identifying the xcoordinate (AF), then the ycoordinate (16) so that spaces are identified as C3 or E6. Hopefully, lots of practice will help students transition to the algebraic ordered pairs (x,y) where x and y are both numbers. Just be certain to reinforce the notion that the xcoordinate (across) comes before the ycoordinate (up or down). The alphabetical cues (across comes before up or down) help some students remember the order. 
Spider Game  1
Spider Game  1 develops student understanding of the probability of the outcomes of tossing a single die. This game is a twist on Pig in that tossing a 6 means the spider takes all of the counters you have been able to remove from the board. The file contains the gameboard, directions and a student recording sheet. 

Spider Game  2Spider Game  2 develops student understanding of the probability of the outcomes of tossing two dice. Students toss two dice, calculate the difference of the two dice and remove a counter from that spider web. But beware, if the difference is 0, the spider takes the counters the student has already removed and the student earns no points for the round. This game is a twist on Pig and student understanding of probability helps them develop effective strategies for winning the most points. The file contains the gameboard, directions, a student recording sheet and a handout that requires students to chart the different ways of tossing a difference of 0, 1, 2, etc.. 

Spider Web Map Coloring GamesSpider Web Map Coloring Games require students to use map coloring rules to capture the most points in these web coloring games. The games encourage students to apply discrete math map coloring skills and develop winning strategies. The file contains two different versions of the game, directions for each and a recording sheet. 
Map Coloring Rules:

Spider Problem Solving
Insect and Spider Problems
Solve Insect and Spider Problems. Given the number of legs and heads, students must figure out how many are insects (6 legs) and how many are spiders (8 legs). The pdf file is formatted to print out individual problem cards that may be placed in a math center for student use. Answer key cards are also included.
 NOTE: A very effective strategy is for students to assume that all heads are insects and determine how many legs were used. Then they distribute the leftover legs, 2 to each insect to create spiders until all of the legs are used.
 Students might also use the Insect and Spider Problem Spreadsheet as a strategy that uses technology to help in problem solving. Right click on the link and save the spreadsheet to your computer for easy classroom use. The spreadsheet is already configured for student use. They should only type in the yellow spaces as the spreadsheet will compute the other columns. Use an overhead monitor or projection system to model using the spreadsheet.
Spider Links
 The Spiders Unit from SEDL integrates math, science and language.
 In the Spider Count Game students roll a die, then color in that many spiders in their webs. The first student to color in all of his/her spiders wins the game.
 Spider Glyph is a simple coloring activity that captures data about students' experiences with and attitudes toward spiders.
 Math Cats' Spider Math: students draw half of a spider on a coordinate grid then trade with their partner who must complete the spider so that it is symmetrical. Lastly, students must list the points, which when connected in order, will generate the symmetrical spider.
 Help the fly escape from the Spider Maze or solve a simpler Spider Maze.