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Spiders Have 8 Legs

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    NCTM Illuminations

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Spiders Have 8 Legs

In this three-day (or three-part) math lesson, learners represent the number eight in writing and with a variety of manipulatives related to spiders. Learners construct sets of eight by cutting eight strips of paper and counting eight pretzel sticks that represent spider legs. Learners also use eight plastic spiders to show eight with a ten frame and count on from a given number to make eight. This lesson guide includes questions for learners, assessment options, extensions, and reflection questions. Note: The snack activity involves peanut butter, but any other creamy food can be used instead.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 8

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
  • Mathematics
    • Number and Operations
    • Representation

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Food and Cooking
  • Literature
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

Includes assesments for student learning

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Golden, Deeanna D.


  • All Rights Reserved, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, ©2010

Funding Source:

  • Thinkfinity/Verizon Foundation


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