The Very Busy Spider

This lesson plan for A1 level primary learners aged 5 to 6 years old helps raise awareness about visual impairment.

This is a series of activities and related worksheets for you to download and use with the storybook The Very Busy Spider. Learners will make a touchy feely book and give a presentation of the story. It forms part of the Promoting diversity through children's literature series, produced by the British Council Teaching Centre in Paris.


5-6 years old



About the story

The Very Busy Spider is a story which describes a spider's day. A spider is flown onto a farmyard fence and she starts to spin a web. The other animals ask if she wants to play but in every case the spider didn't answer. She was very busy spinning her web. The book is touchable and the strands of the spider's web are embossed onto the page so children can follow them with their fingertips. The book allows for work on raising awareness about children who are visually impaired. Beautifully illustrated by Eric Carle.

Language areas

  • Farmyard animals and places
  • Spider-related vocabulary
  • Animal body parts
  • The senses
  • Traditional games using a blindfold

Diversity themes

  • Raising awareness of visual impairment
  • Finding out about Braille

Main outcomes

  • Making a touchy feely book
  • Making a spider and a web
  • Singing a song 'Spider in the web'
  • Giving a presentation of the story

The Very Busy Spider, Eric Carle, Hamish Hamilton, ISBN 0241 11430 6

Story notes by Nicky Francis

The materials form part of the Promoting diversity through children's literature series, produced by the British Council Teaching Centre in Paris. You can download materials for five sessions of around three hours each. The materials include:

  • A sequence of activities – a plan for you to follow
  • Worksheets – for you to print and use with your learners
Language Level

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