Using “Spider Legs” during Writing

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Did you hear?!?!  We are celebrating our blogiversary this week!  Aylin and I are super excited and wanted to celebrate (and thank everyone) by having a giveaway.  If you haven’t already seen this post please click here.  We will be picking two lucky winners on Sunday- so make sure to enter for your chance to win!


Today, I am also thrilled to be linking up with Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper to share an idea I tried recently and is just now taking off in my classroom.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.3 Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.

As I continue to follow Lucy Caulkins writing program I continue to see lots of growth from my young authors!  A few weeks ago I introduce “spider legs” to my first graders through a mini lesson.  Although I introduced this nearly a month ago, it took a while for my kids to really grasp onto this idea.  We came back to it a few times and I definitely used some of my student leaders to help model this concept during mini lessons and finally it clicked.  Once a few kids started using “spider legs” successfully…everyone wanted to give it a try!

“Spider legs” help students to go back and add to their writing without having to go back and erase or adding “carrot” which only allows for so much room.   We keep our “spider legs” in a red bin where kids have easy access to them.  “Spider legs” are simply cut up strips of notebook paper.

Example of “Spider Legs”
We are currently using “spider legs” when…
1.  The author is reading his/her own writing and realizes he/she forgot something/wants to add a detail.
2.  A student’s writing buddy listens to his/her story and has another question/needs clarification.
3. After a student shares in our author’s chair, someone asks a question that the student did not already have answered in his/her writing.  
I am pretty sure my kids like “spider legs” because of the fun name and they can stick out of their notebook. I like LOVE “spider legs” because they encourage my kiddos to go back and reread their writing and it encourages them to write more!  
Below are some examples of how my firsties are using their spider legs:   
This student wrote lots about her dog but forgot to tell us what her dog’s name is…she was able to add that detail to the beginning of her writing using the “spider leg.”
This student forgot to answer “where.”  He quickly added it to his writing by using a “spider leg.” 

Thank you again Holly for hosting a fabulous linky and encouraging teachers to try new things in their classrooms!

Happy Tuesday!

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0 thoughts on “Using “Spider Legs” during Writing”

  1. I could definitely use this with the 5th graders too. I have some perfectionists that get stressed at the thought of erasing or adding something new on their papers because it won't look right. This is a great way not to invade their space, yet still be able to add the extra details. Love this idea!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'


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