Literature Based Learning: The Very Busy Spider Part 1

I have originally planned to use the BFIAR series with Xxm for his literature based learning. However, some of the books chosen are rather lengthy and Xxm is unwilling to sit down to listen to the entire story. Hence, I decided to shelve them for the time being and introduce to him at a later time.

One of Xxm’s favorite authors is Eric Carle. His favorite book from 10 months old was Brown bear, Brown bear, What do you see which I had ordered from Amazon. Hence, I figured perhaps other Eric Carle books might appeal to him. Besides, there is an abundance of resources on the Internet related to his works.

The Very Busy Spider was one of those which I got from the public library to test his appetite for such books. Spiders is a familiar topic for him and true enough, he likes the book!


This colorful picture book describes a spider’s day. Blown onto a farmyard fence, she starts to spin a web. The other animals ask if she wants to play, but each time “the spider didn’t answer. She was very busy spinning her web.”

Besides the distinctively unique writing style and beautiful illustrations, The Very Busy Spider has an additional interactive component. You can feel the spider’s web on the pages and Xxm does enjoy tracing and feeling the web.

YouTube has such a treasure trove of videos and I did find one for this particular book. I like videos that retain the original illustrations with some animations rather than pure narration.

Post Reading Activities

Hide and Seek with the fly
I highlighted the existence of the housefly and we located the pesty fly on every other page in the book before it was eaten up.

Science: Real Spiders
Besides the puny ones we found at home, Meow and Xxm found a rather huge one on one of their nature trails.

No complicated science lesson yet as he is a preschooler and I feel it is more important to correlate to the actual thing rather than drill dry facts into him.

Nursery Rhymes: Itsy Bitsy Spider
One of our all time favorite nursery rhyme. How can we discuss about spiders without singing this rhyme, complete with actions and all?

Art and Craft
We did a spider craft that I bought from SKP. It’s a complete kit to make any of the creature on the box. But you probably have to check the contents before you buy to make sure you are getting the right one. I bought a box for ladybird initially and had to go back to get another for spider. Unfortunately, it’s not stated on the box. Price wise, it costs SGD$2.60. I like that it has all that I need, nothing more which means I don’t need to store too many miscellaneous leftover craft work.
Whilst doing the craft, I stressed that a spider has 8 legs. We counted the eight hairy legs together. I cheekily asked if the spider he saw with his dad has shoes on. He replied me matter-of-factly that his shoes were at home. Duh!

I have some other activities which I have not executed yet. Stay tuned for Part 2!


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