Math Activity Themes: Spider Math

Spider Math Activities

Each of these activities capitalize on students' fascination with spiders.   They develop mathematical concepts using a spider theme.

Spider Web Math Mats

Spider 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.

Name-Collection Spiders

Ms. Collier's and Ms. Rachko's classes created Name-Collection spiders for Halloween.   These fourth grade students at Joseph C. Caruso School in Keansburg, NJ, extended the Everyday Math name-collection box routine to writing 8 different names for each number, one for each spider leg.

Spider Glyphs & Graphing Ideas

Spider Glyphs

Spider Graphing

Math-Literature Connections: Spiders

The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

Math Activities: Patterns

Spider Games

Catch the Spider Game

Catch 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 5-point spiders and ten 2-point 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 x-coordinate (A-F), then the y-coordinate (1-6) 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 x-coordinate (across) comes before the y-coordinate (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 - 2

Spider 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 Games

Spider 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:

  • The object of map coloring is to use the fewest colors possible to color in a map. NOTE: The Four-Color Theorem proved that any map may be colored in at most 4 colors, so the object of these exercises is to efficiently color maps in fewer than 4, if possible.
  • Two regions that share a common side may not be colored the same color.
  • Two regions that share only a point (vertex) may be colored the same color.

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.

Spider Links