EL Support Lesson

What Happened to the Itsy Bitsy Spider?

Preschoolers love to sing! In this fun, hands-on, art inspired lesson plan, your preschool ELs will practice retelling a story while using a well-loved song. Can be used as a stand alone or support lesson for the **Caps For Sale** lesson plan.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Caps For Sale! lesson plan.
Grade Subject View aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Caps For Sale! lesson plan.

Students will be able to identify the beginning, middle, and end of a story.


Students will be able to retell a story with transitional phrases using visual supports.

(8 minutes)

Prior to the start of the lesson, pre-write the text for the Itsy Bitsy Spider on the board or chart paper. Cover it.

  • Gather the class together for the start of the lesson.
  • Play the clip from Sesame Street.
  • Ask the students to turn and talk to a partner to share what they learned. Provide students with the sentence frame: "I learned____ in the song."
(5 minutes)
  • Introduce the new vocabulary words (using the vocabulary cards and glossary for reference) and explain the focus of today's lesson, "Today we are going to practice retelling a story using the important details that happened in the beginning, middle, and end."
  • Explain that now you will be singing a song that students might know. Tell students that today's song tells a story. The story is about a little spider.
(5 minutes)
  • Display the pre-written text and the visual from the coloring page to the class.
  • Define water spout as, "A pipe used to drain water from a roof after it rains."
  • Sing the song while pointing to each word, using a pointer.
  • Show students hand motions they can use while singing the song (making a web, rain, etc.).
  • Tell the students to repeat each line after you sing it a second time, while also doing the corresponding hand motions.
  • Model how to retell what happens in the song with student input (e.g. In the beginning the spider climbed up the water spout, etc.).
  • As you retell, highlight or emphasize the "ed" endings in past tense verbs as a way of talking about what already happened.
  • Have students share ideas with the class of what happens in the song using sentence starters: "In the beginning____," in the middle____, at the end ____."
  • Explain that the class just retold the song using the important details.
(15 minutes)
  • Demonstrate how to use the construction paper pieces to make a spider (one circle, legs, and googly eyes). Write up each step on the board (including visuals if you can).
  • Review any expectations with use of materials and/or supplies.
  • Pass out the materials and have students make their own spiders.
  • Pair students together with a partner.
  • Explain that students will practice using their spider puppet and a picture to retell the important parts of the beginning, middle, and end of the song to their partner using picture cards to help them.
  • Pass out The Itsy Bitsy Spider: Rhyme Coloring Page to each student to use as they retell the song to their partner.
  • Students may color the worksheet when they are finished retelling the song to their partner.


  • Provide additional time for students to practice retelling the story. Have students retell the story as a whole group using their puppets.
  • Group together students needing additional support to brainstorm what happens in the beginning, middle, and ending. Support students to practice retelling the story in their own words using sentence frames.


  • Have students complete the Itsy Bitsy Spider worksheet by drawing pictures of what happened at the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
  • Pair students together and have them retell the story to their partner using their drawings as a guide.
(5 minutes)
  • Assess if students are able to use the target vocabulary words accurately as they retell what happens in the song.
  • Listen to student pairs as they use their puppets and the visual to retell the beginning, middle, and end of the song. Are students able to connect the pictures with the text? Are students able to use transitional phrases and past tense verbs correctly?
(2 minutes)
  • Gather the class back together and share that when we listen carefully to a song or story, we can learn about and retell the story using our own words.
  • Close by singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider all together using the hand motions.

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