Stolen! Lesson Plan

Academic Standards


Reading Objective:

Children will identify why it is a problem to take spiders from their home.


Science Focus:

animal rescue


ELA Skills:

key details, vocabulary, writing, decoding words


Page 4 Skill:

read a diagram



tarantula, smuggled, extinct, venom



RI.2.1 key details; RI.2.2 identify the main topic; RI.2.4 determine meanings of words; RI.2.5 use text features; RI.2.10 read informational texts; W.2.1 write opinion pieces; SL.2.1 collaborative conversations; SL.2.3 ask and answer questions


Guided Reading Level: 



Lexile Level: 


Provide students with some background on spiders.

Build background knowledge (10 min.)

Watch our video "Tricky Spiders." After children have finished watching the video, discuss the following question:

  • What was your favorite spider? Why?

Set a purpose for reading (5 min.)

  • Pass out the issue, and discuss the cover. Can students predict why someone might steal a spider?
  • Next, read the As You Read prompt on page 2: “Think about why it’s a problem to take spiders from their homes.” Encourage children to think about this prompt as they read.

Read together (20 min.)

Pass out the Read and Think printable. Use it to check comprehension as you read the issue together, pausing to ask the questions. 

Preview vocabulary (3 min.)

Next, play the online vocabulary slideshow. This issue’s featured words are tarantula, smuggled, extinct, and venom.

Assessment: Reading Quiz 

Pass out the Reading Quiz to review key concepts from the issue and assess students’ proficiency on key nonfiction reading skills.

  • The “Build a Spider” game reinforces the body parts of spiders while letting students create their own unique spider!

You can use our printable worksheets to focus on important ELA skills. Here’s how.

ELA Focus: Vocabulary (15 min.)

  • Use the Word Work printable to deepen students’ understanding of the words tarantula, smuggled, extinct, and venom.

Editor’s Pick: Writing (15 min.)

  • Students express whether they think tarantulas would make great pets with the Write Your Opinion! skill sheet.

ELA Focus: Decode Words (15 min.)

  • The Color by Word skill sheet is a fun way to practice identifying highfrequency words.

 Here are two past issues you can use to extend your lesson on spiders:

  • Real Busy Spider,” October 2018. Discover how spiders use their body to catch prey, and compare fiction and nonfiction texts with this issue.
  • Ghost in the Night,” October 2017. Use this issue to explore even more creepy critters and have students form opinions on whether they are scary or not.

You can find a higher-Lexile-level and a lower-Lexile-level version of the article online here:

  • Higher-Lexile level: 610L
  • Lower-Lexile level: 450L