Kindergarten Step by Step- – Spiders, Bats, and Owls OH MY!


Hey all!  Thanks so much for stopping by today!  I have LOTS to share with you today in this Kindergarten Step by Step post!  First up, I will be sharing THREE weeks of KinderLiteracy!  I will cover Bats, Owls, and Spiders!  After adding the additional 12 weeks to choose from I struggled with what topics to cover here so I am knocking out three at once 🙂  I will then be doing pumpkins, veteran’s day and election!  If you didn’t see it yet… you can download a FREE week of KinderLiteracy for election week HERE!

In this post I will also be sharing a writing mini lesson, some great math activities, and lots more!  Let’s get started with spider week!  Spider week is a new supplemental week of KinderLiteracy!  Be sure to download the bundle again to access Unit 8!

We know with close reads it’s so important to have an equal balance of fiction and nonfiction texts so this week pairs with the National Geographic reader, Spiders with the fiction tale, Arrrrgh: Spider! I just love the Arrrrgh: Spider book!  If you have’t seen this one before you can watch the video below!

This week our main focus is to hone in on nonfiction texts and their features!  It’s so important that we not only immerse the kiddos in nonfiction texts, but we help them to understand what makes a nonfiction text and how it sets apart from fiction.  This week’s essential question poses that exact thinking: What type of book is this?  How do you know? Well, your kiddos will most likely spot that the text is nonfiction right away!  However, the main part we are going for there is the second part of that question, How do you know? It’s important we pose these types of questions for students and we allow plenty of self think time and time to discuss their ideas with classmates and the class in whole.

I also always encourage reading the essential question daily.  Some days you’ll just read it to be reading it (Monday). However, as the week goes on you’ll notice that the question takes on new meaning each day as the kiddos learn more and are able to contribute more with their answers!

Along with the essential question we will also be working on nonfiction features throughout the week!  On day three you will be asking questions like, What is the table of contents and how can it help us?  What is the difference between photographs and illustrations? You will also be labeling a spider whole group and the students will work on this task independently as well!

If time allows during KinderLiteracy or possibly an alternate time of the day… can/have/are charts allow an excellent time for students to express their knowledge of the nonfiction text!  As you know… the national geographic readers are phenomenal for expressing fact after fact!

This week’s vocabulary words lend themselves to a kid’s delight for sure HA!  Below are the words and suggestions for actions!

Egg sac- create a bowl shape with your hands
Fangs- use both index fingers to resemble fangs
Prey- Use your hand to “catch” another animal
Venom- use your “fangs” from above but then have your hand resemble falling over as the animal is unable to move

Below you can view the Listen and Draw for the words fangs and prey!

This week the students also write about their opinions on if spiders would make a good pet!



Below you can see the poem for the week in action as well! Who doesn’t love a great rhyming poem?


This week’s craft is a creepy crawly one!


Up next is Bat week!  I mean who doesn’t love Stellaluna? This week takes a reverse to last week!  This week we are focusing on a fiction text and pairing with nonfiction!  I really love this combo as well!  The students are able to quickly make connections between what they see in the fiction text and then how it relates to nonfiction…. Stellaluna hangs upright at first, is that what the nonfiction text states?  Stellaluna can see at night… does our nonfiction text support that?



If you are wanting to “show” the book as well this week you can use this link!  Storyline Online also has a great version!

This week we are focusing on major events!  It’s so important that our kiddos can not only retell a story (this week offers retell cards for the kiddos to use) but they also understand what a major event is!  Yes, Stellaluna ate a bug… but was that a MAJOR event within the story?  This is a tricky concept for kiddos and really should be modeled through teaching and then placed on them independently.  I like to model an example … like my daily schedule.  What was most important about my day?  Brushing my teeth? No, probably not… but waking up, coming to work, and going to bed probably were!  In the lesson plans your essential questions- What were the major events in the story?  How does Stellaluna persevere?   You will notice that in the picture below a couple years ago I actually had a different essential question… Compare and contrast birds to bats!  This is such an important analysis and really just depends if you’re wanting to take a fiction focus (retell with major events) or nonfiction (compare/contrast to real life animals).  If you are using Unit 2 in design from KinderLiteracy then you will notice that is the retell unit… which is why the new essential question varied 😉

In the hustle and bustle of our days it’s easy to jump right into the text that first day!  However, I encourage you to always make time for the schema chart!  This is such a great opportunity for students to see their prior knowledge.. and more importantly their NEW knowledge after  the text!  Below is a look at the schema chart BEFORE the first read! A helpful tip… use an alternate color to fill in the new knowledge after the first read!


Above as I mentioned the alternate essential question (compare bats to birds).  Here is a great anchor chart that allows them to see the differences and similarities between the two!
Below is a look at the vocabulary words for the week!  I will also mention a suggestion for vocabulary actions!Clutched: Hold hands together
Swooped: Have one hand dive down towards the floor
Escape: Pretend to runaway
Curious: Hands up and look around as you spark wonder
Clambered: Pretend to have claws and struggle as you climb up
(Yes, typo above— ya know we are always rushing ha!)
Below is a look at this week’s poem! 🙂
This week’s craft!!! Adorable little bats! 🙂
Alright, forward to a new week— OWLS!  This week is another equal fiction/nonfiction split with the nonfiction text being the main text!  This week the nonfiction text is paired with Owl Babies!  If you haven’t seen Owl Babies… you can view it below!

This week’s essential questions focus in on that nonfiction push as well!  This week we will be asking the kiddos to use one important features of nonfiction texts (well any text, but more so in nonfiction texts) – – unknown words!  How does defining and truly understand all these BIG words help our understanding?  Of course if you are a Common Core State you know that this is standard of it’s own.  It’s a standard we cover every Tuesday of a close read week, but this will be one of our main focuses this week!  Sometimes I model this by saying something like,  “Tee woben en boo.”  The kiddos usually look at be silly as I ask them what I just said.  I then say, “Today is such a pretty day.”   I then again ask what I said.  Of course this time the kiddos are able to tell me what I said and what it means!  I use this is as an example for what words can look and sound like until we truly know what they are.  If we don’t take the time to tackle these BIG words with the kiddos our stories might sound like me first sentence…. especially those ELL students!

We will also cover additional nonfiction text features- labels, photographs, bold words, and factual knowledge from the text!

Below are this week’s vocabulary words and a suggestion for actions!

Prey: have your hand swoop down towards the ground and grab something
Camouflage: Pretend like you are peeking through the bushes
Wingspan: Have students expand their arms to resemble their wings
Owlet: Form a small baby owl using two hands
Talons: Replicate claws using your fingers

is always part of KinderLiteracy nonfiction week! 🙂

through a close read week we are drawn on really expanding on all of the facts
the students gained from the text! Below are a
couple can/have/are charts from the week!

are a couple owl fact stories!
craft for this week is a “stuffed bag” owl!!!
wraps up the KinderLiteracy focus of the post! Again, I’ll continue
with pumpkins, scarecrows, veterans and election!
I recently received some emails asking what I have my kiddos during in their “work on writing” folders once they are ready to “write” but still need their training wheels!  I LOVE using my picture starters or writing starters!  I have them in multiple packets so you might already own them!  These allow the kiddos to use the picture to assist them in their writing idea!  It also gives a picture for them to color once they have their story– keeping them busy the entire round!  Below I will link to the packets these can be found in!
You can find my story starters in my Taking Back Weekends packets, Writing Printables for the Year, and my Ultimate Story Starters packet!
For math today I would like to share a couple math freebies that your kiddos will love!  If you haven’t yet downloaded these ADORABLE freebie number math of motion posters from Miss Kindergarten… you can download them free **HERE!**  Miss K was so nice to offer multiple versions for the number ‘5’ as well!
Miss Kindergarten also shared these adorable freebie counting sets cards as well!  You can download those for free ** HERE!  ** Thanks Miss Kindergarten for making math so fun!
Now it’s time for a couple writing mini lessons for YOU!  Up first is a quick and fun mini lesson for teaching our kiddos how to make their writing easy to read!  We are often SO excited to get them to put their ideas down on paper that we then start to notice the transition into higher expectation writing can be a little tricky!  I love doing this quick anchor chart to display in the classroom for the kiddos to access!  What are the three things we need to do to make our writing easy to read? We need finger spaces, stretcccccccch out those words, and use small/big letters where appropriate (THIS can be super tricky as they learn to form those letters.)
Mini lesson #2!  How about an “action” video for an adding details lesson!  This again is a SUPER quick lesson, yet meaningful!  Check out the mini lesson on teaching our kiddos to not only “add more details” but truly THINK about their story and illustration… then put that image down onto their paper!

As with each week I kick myself for not getting more into these weekly posts, but know I am working hard and hope to get more and more to you! 🙂

Talk soon!





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