Featured Book Activity
Anansi the Spider
written and illustrated by Gerald McDermott
In Anansi the Spider, each son has a singular talent. The symbols appearing on each spider represent each son's special talent and are particularly effective in keeping the characters straight as the reader moves through the adventure. “River Drinker” with the wavy lines representing flowing water and “Stone Thrower” with his pinwheel-type disc are special favorites of my young readers.
Ask children to think of something they do well and design a symbol to represent that talent. Have them draw their symbol on a spider. Use this Anansi the Spider Pattern (PDF, 16kb). Create a bulletin board or wall display with all the spiders.
In addition to designing their own symbols for their special talents, I often ask them to come up with a name for themselves to make clear their chosen skill or ability. We also talk about how each of the skills works with the others to make our learning community a special place.