Make Spider Webs with Black Paper & Pastels: Art Project with "The Very Busy Spider"

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This lesson is ideal for elementary students in that it is a fun way to use line and color. It is also perfect for fall or Halloween time.


  • The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle
  • photographs of spider webs

Art Materials:

  • black construction paper
  • pencils
  • chalk pastels
  • elmers/liquid glue, glitter (optional)


  • line: a mark made by a tool on a surface
  • color: a quality of light as our eyes see it. Light is made up of waves, which hit objects and are reflected from their surfaces. The colors we see depend on how these light waves are reflected. Objects of different colors reflect different kinds of light waves.
  • blend: mix together different elements

Motivation For Lesson:

The teacher reads the story, The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle to the students. As the story progresses, the teacher should point out to students how the spider web is changing as the spider builds it. At the end, some questions that the teacher might ask:

  • What did the spider look like?
  • What color was the spider?
  • Where does the spider live?
  • What did the web look like?
  • What are webs used for?
  • Why was the spider tired?


Students will create a drawing depicting a spider web and at least three blended colors on black construction paper.



1. Lesson starts with the motivation. The teacher then explains to students that they will be building their own spider web like the very busy spider by using lines. Students are shown photographs of real spider webs and the teacher points out the different lines and shapes.

2. Each student receives a sheet of black construction paper. They are to choose a place on the paper to make a big dot with their pencil. This will be their starting point.

3. With their pencils, they are going to draw lines from the dot to the edge of their papers. (the teacher should demonstrate to students on the board how to draw the lines which are the “legs” or foundation lines for their spider webs) Ideally students should have a minimum of 6-8 lines radiating from their dot to the edges.

4. The teacher then demonstrates how to connect their “legs” with lines to create a spider web. He/she points out how the lines create shapes.

5. Once students have completed their webs, they are given bottles of glue to trace over their lines. Allow glue to dry completely. *Optional-while glue is wet, students can shake glitter over to have a “sparkly” web when dry.

6. After the guide lines are dry, fill in the shapes formed by the glue lines with pastel. Students are instructed to use at least three colors. They should use the side of the pastel so that the glue lines will leave black areas around each color.

7. Students should use their fingers to blend colors and smooth the pastels.

8. Once the project is completed the teacher can question students about what happens when lines are connected and when colors are blended. (lines form shapes & blending of colors forms a new color)