Fun Bat and Spider Activities for the Classroom

Engage your kids this fall with a cross-curricular study of bats and spiders

Kids love creepy, crawly, spooky things like bats and spiders! Using fun themes like these is a great way to target various skills and keep student engagement high! If you’re looking to add some fun and easy activities to your lessons centered around a bat and spider theme, I have just the thing. Come along to check out my favorite activities for these spooky creatures!

Engage your kids this fall with a cross-curricular study of bats and spiders

Start Your Bat and Spider Activities With Fun Books

You guys already know I’m such a huge fan of children’s literature! It’s a slight obsession, I must admit! Books are a great way to set the stage for new lessons and excite little learners. As you may have already guessed, I have no shortage of favorite books for spider and bat activities! If you’re looking for a few new suggestions, take a peek at my list:

 Read alouds about bats and spiders are the perfect way to introduce your units on bats and spiders.

Once you’ve gathered up a few favorites, get cozy and start reading! Whether you’re exploring bats and spiders during “spooky season” in the fall or diving into this topic during another time of year, these books will provide the perfect intro.

I like to read a book or 2 for each day we work on this theme. If you’re in need of my suggestions, swing by my Amazon idea page to see ALL my favorites for Bats and Spiders!

Thematic Teaching Rocks!

As I mentioned above, you can target SO many skills with thematic teaching! I love using a fun theme, like bats and spiders, across a variety of subjects and activities. Using thematic teaching pulls everything together and gets the kiddos excited for learning too! When we study bats and spiders, there are so many skills that can be focused on each day.

Aside from learning new facts about these creepy creatures, you can sneak in plenty of skills practice for literacy, math, writing, science, crafts, and more! I like to choose a few activities from each category to use each day as we focus on this topic. Having a blend of activities offers variety to students while still keeping on point with our big-picture theme. Ready to hear my faves? Let’s get to it!

Science Activities For Bat and Spider Themes

My favorite part of this whole unit is definitely the science-focused activities! After all, bats and spiders are curious creatures and there is SO much to learn about them. For this reason, I tend to lead with science-based activities in this unit. After reading some of your books in the morning, try introducing some of these activities to your students:

  • Life Cycles: I like to use worksheets and activities that illustrate the life cycles of bats and spiders. Students are always fascinated to see the differences in the life cycles between the 2 creatures. This is a great discussion to open to your students to see what differences they can identify.
  • Nocturnal vs. Diurnal: Bat and spider activities are the perfect way to introduce nocturnal animals to your students. I like to discuss what those terms mean and then brainstorm nocturnal and diurnal animals on a large anchor chart. Take some time to make one with your class and then let them re-create it on their own with a fun sorting activity like the one we use.
  • Non-Fiction Readers: This topic is filled with interesting information so I like to have my kiddos make non-fiction readers to help retain all that we have learned. We make one larger book together as a class and then each child can color their own, smaller version.

Using science-based activities early on in your bat and spider lessons will help lay the foundation for your other lessons. I love choosing one of these activities to do as an opener to our day when we study this theme. Then, at the end of the day, I’ll do a quick verbal quiz and see what the children remember!

Connecting science to your unit on spiders and bats is a great way to engage students in learning about these two animals.

Bat and Spider Activities for Literacy

Literacy is such an integral part of the primary classroom. If you work with young students, you already know that SO much of your weekly planning is centered around mastering letters and phonics-based concepts. When so much of your day is filled with this work, it can be a little tricky to keep things feeling fresh. Has this ever happened to you? I know I’ve struggled with lessons feeling a little “stale”. Don’t worry though friends, I have the PERFECT solution to capture student attention.

Feed The Bat Beginning Sounds Game

No matter how many times you have already practiced beginning sounds, this game will STILL be an attention grabber! Young children LOVE “feed the…” games! If you’re new to them, they are just what they sound like. You’ll have a picture of an animal or object with its mouth cut out (to look open) and students will get to “feed” it task cards after answering questions correctly. These games are super versatile and can be used for circle time, small groups, and centers!

For a bat theme, I have a fun beginning sounds game that we use over and over. Kiddos will choose a card, name the beginning sound for the picture on their card, and if they’re correct- they “feed the bat”. I love playing this in a big group but it’s also a fun game for some informal 1:1, assessment.

Connect your spider and bat theme to key literacy skills.

More Literacy Activities

Aside from my very favorite game, I also like to include plenty of other activities that promote hands-on learning in our literacy centers. Some of my favorites include:

  • Roll & Cover/Color Worksheets: We use bat and spider themed worksheets to practice uppercase and lowercase letter recognition.
  • Bat Rhyming Puzzles: Puzzles are such a fun activity for hands-on learning and students always enjoy finding a matching rhyme!
  • “Crack the Code” Beginning Sounds: This is always a student favorite. This activity contains a “secret” message that’s made up of pictures. Students write the letters that correspond with the beginning sound to “crack the code”.

Teach Math with Bat and Spider Activities

Bats and spiders are the perfect themes for teaching math… after all, what kiddo doesn’t love counting creepy, crawly things?! When it comes to math, I’m all for keeping the activities engaging with hands-on learning activities.

Engage students with spiders and bats as you practice important math skills.

Some of my favorites include:

  • Feed the Spider: This has the same concept as my “feed the bat game” but children will focus on numbers 1-10. Play as a group or during centers!
  • Bat & Spider Size Sorting: Sorting bats and spiders by size is a great way to work on beginning measurement and classification skills.
  • Clip the Missing Number: This activity will help children work on identifying which number is missing from a set. I also love that the use of clothespins helps to target fine motor skills in younger children.
  • Shape Playdough Mats: Learning shapes is extra fun when playdough is involved! The playdough mats I like feature a “build it, trace it, write it” format so kiddos will also get practice with writing skills as well!
  • Color By Code Activities: I like to use editable bat and spider color-by-code worksheets to target number identification and number sense. I love that these can be pulled out at a moment’s notice!

I love using math activities like this throughout the day in different ways. These can be used for small groups, centers, or independent learning stations.

Spider and Bat color by code activities and crafts are a great way to connect the theme to a variety of skills.

Target Writing Skills with Bat and Spider Theme

I love early writing. There is just something so fun about watching a student’s writing develop and change throughout the year! Bat and spider themes are perfect to target writing skills and grab student interest. Some of the things I like to work on during this theme include:

  • Vocabulary Words: This is a great way to recap all the things you talked about in your bat and spider books. We use tracing pages to target key vocabulary words for this topic.
  • Labeling Pages: Once you’ve introduced those new vocabulary words, start labeling! We use labeling activities to identify the body parts of bats and spiders.
  • Writing Prompts: Writing prompts and picture prompts are a wonderful way to get those brains working! I like to staple a few different pages together to create a bat and spider “mini-journal” to use throughout our work on this theme.
  • Writing Craftivities: Everyone loves a good craft, right? I know I do! For the bat and spider theme, I use writing templates that allow students to jot down a few facts and then create a cute and simple bat or spider craft. These make a wonderful keepsake! I also love to hang the finished product for an instant, festive bulletin board display!

Using a variety of different writing activities is key for keeping things fun! I like to sprinkle these bat and spider writing activities throughout our lessons to challenge students and recap what we are learning.

After learning about spiders and bats your students will love writing about what they have learned.

Using Bat and Spider Activities in Your Classroom

I hope you found some fun ideas to try out in your classroom for your bat and spider theme! With a variety of math, literacy, science, and writing activities, I know that your students will be excited to learn each day.

If you’re looking for a “done for you” all-in-one resource, you can check out my Bats and Spider Unit, which is FILLED with all the fun activities I mentioned and more! This resource will take the guesswork out of your planning and ensure you touch on every subject while you study bats and spiders! Plus, I’ve added a variety of options for differentiation to make this resource perfect for all of your students.

Everything you need to teach a cross-curricular themed unit on bats and spiders.

Looking For More Thematic Teaching Units?

If you love themes as much as I do, be sure to check a few of the other fun options I have created over the years!

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