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4s Sample Curriculum

Sample Plan for Four-Year-Old Classes: Nocturnal Animals/Spiders

Theme Emphasis

Allow children the opportunity to learn characteristics of different spiders.

Question of the Day at Check-in: Critical Thinking Exercise

Do you know how many legs a spider has?
(Child answers by writing name in either the “yes”, “no”, or “not sure” column.)

“Must Do” at Open Centers: Paper and Pencil/“School-Prep” Activity

Draw “weblines” to match the uppercase letters with their lowercase letters in the web

Circle Activities: Self-Expression, Listening to Others, Group Problem Solving

Content Activity: web children’s responses to the following question:

  • What do you know about spiders?
  • Facts to include: 8 legs, many eyes, orb weavers, poisonous, egg-laying, types of food sources, good for environment, not insects.
  • Movement Activity: use a ball of yarn to lay a web on the floor as children roll across the circle to one another

Drama: Exercises Imagination, Cooperative Creativity, Flexible Thinking

Act out The Very Busy Spider

Reading/Storytime: Theme Development, Reading Appreciation, Print Recognition, Vocabulary Development, Follow the Development of Thoughts and Ideas in Plot Context, Event Memory, Auditory Discrimination

  • The Very Busy Spider
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Spooky Spider Saves Halloween
  • Spider Facts
  • Eensy Weensy Spider
  • Anansi
  • Spider, Spider

Music/Movement: Self-Expression, Creative Expression, Music Appreciation

  • There’s a Spider on the Floor
  • Eensy Weensy Spider
  • 5 Little Spiders
  • Sign Language for Spider

Centers: Theme Extension, Thinking, Practicing Skills, Working Together

(Notes in parentheses describe some of the major developmental tasks that are generally practiced and accomplished within the named center.)


  • spider cookie cutters
(develop fine motor strength and coordination, creative modeling and expression, opportunities for conversation)


  • shredded paper with small spider tongs to move spiders
(develop fine motor strength and coordination, explore attributes and functions of physical materials, opportunities for conversation)


  • patterning with spider and insect play figures
(opportunities to learn about symmetry, order, and design, to create and repeat patterns, to classify objects by single or multiple attributes, to use logical reasoning)


  • spider/insect puzzle
(improve hand-eye coordination, develop understanding of space and size relationships, look at relationship of part to whole, exercise body core muscles)


  • write and add on story to create class book(Spooky Spider’s Halloween)
(experiment with writing letters and words, print recognition, theme development, expression of personal ideas, ordering events, story illustration)


  • use rolling marble/paint in a pan to make a web hand print for spider
  • weave webs using paper plates and yarn
  • stuff large trash bag to make giant class spider
(self-expression and creativity, communicate ideas through concrete mediums, develop and control small muscles, construct a design plan and attempt to implement that plan)


  • Ritz cracker spiders (peanut butter/pretzels for legs)
(practice following multi-step directions, opportunities to discuss nutritional concepts, explore effects of heat and cold on foods, try and appreciate new foods, practice with counting, comparison, and measurement)

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