Monday, October 3, 2011

Spider Unit - African Kente Cloth Legend

One of the things I'm excited about with this spider unit is that it  provides lots of opportunities to pull in folk tales from different regions.  Thus, we will get to do a lot of cross-curricular activities - in this case, language arts and art.

Lesson:  African Kente Cloth Spider Legend

Objective:  Child will identify what a folk tale is, and become familiar with the Ghana legend of Kente cloth.

Materials:  The Spider Weaver, by Margaret Musgrove.  1 sheet construction paper.  Plate.  Fork or other mixing utensil.  Elmer's glue.  Water.  Different colors of yarn.  Scissors.


1.  Discuss with child what a folk tale is.  Say, "Although you didn't know it, you already know some folk tales!  There's one about three bears, and a little girl with curly blond hair, who eats porridge and breaks a chair and sleeps in a bed ... what folk tale is that?"  Discuss several other familiar folk tales, such as Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood.  Then say, "Other cultures around the world have folk tales, as well, and today we'll be reading a folk tale from Africa."  Read, The Spider Weaver.

2.  Give child a piece of construction paper (black works best).  On the plate, mix equal parts glue and water.  Cut the yarn into strips.  Instruct child that she is going to make a web like the spider in the book.  Have her dip a piece of yarn in the glue mixture, then place it on the construction paper.

3.  Continue the process with more yarn.  Child can use scissors to cut the yarn into smaller pieces if she wishes.  Leave the book open so the child can refer to the picture of the web for inspiration!

4.  Even the little guy got in on the action!  I dipped the yarn for him, and he placed it on the paper.  

5.  We even made a "B", which is his letter of the week!

The kids REALLY enjoyed this activity.  Messy, but fun!