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Activity Overview

Anansi’s six sons are an important part of the story: together they save him from great danger! For this activity, students will create a spider map that describes and illustrates the unique abilities that each of Anansi’s six sons possess, and how those abilities saved Anansi.

Anansi’s Sons from Anansi the Spider

  • See Trouble: He could see trouble a long way off. He knew that his father was in trouble and alerted the others.
  • Road Builder: He had a knack for building roads very quickly. He built a road for the brothers to safely walk on in order to look for their father.
  • River Drinker: He was able to drink whole rivers dry! When Anansi was swallowed by a fish, he drank the river in order to get to the fish.
  • Game Skinner: He was able to skin animals for his family. He split open the fish to get to Anansi inside.
  • Stone Thrower: He was able to throw stones really, really far! When a falcon took Anansi and started to fly away with him, Stone Thrower hit the falcon with a stone, causing it to release Anansi.
  • Cushion: He was very soft, like a cushion. When Anansi fell from the sky, he landed on Cushion safely.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a 6 cell spider map that describes and illustrates each of Anansi’s six sons from Anansi the Spider.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the title boxes, write the son’s name.
  3. In the description boxes, write a brief description of the son’s unique ability and how it was used to help Anansi in the story.
  4. Create an illustration for each term using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/2/3] Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/3/3] Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Character Analysis Rubric
Analyze a character by explaining specific ways he or she demonstrates several important character traits throughout the story.
33 Points
25 Points
17 Points
Character Trait Analysis
Written explanation of the scene clearly and accurately explains the connection between the character's actions and his or her personality and character development.
Written explanation of the scene attempts to explain the scene's connection to the character's personality and development. Some explanations may be unclear.
Written explanation of the scenes fails to correctly explain the connection between the actions depicted and the character's personality and development.
Storyboard Scenes
Storyboard cells clearly show connection with the character trait, through depiction of a specific instance in the text.
Storyboard cells show some connection with the character trait, through depiction of the novel, but some storyboard cells are difficult to understand or fail to capture a specific event in the text.
Storyboard cells do not demonstrate the appropriate character traits or fail to include any specific textual references.
Effort and Editing
Work is complete, thorough, and neat. Spelling and grammar are correct.
Most of the sections of the storyboard were at least attempted and work is presentable. The text contains some errors in spelling and/or grammar.
Storyboard is unfinished and/or disorganized. The text contains many errors in spelling and/or grammar.

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