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Sophie is an artist who wants to spin beautiful creations all day long and, someday, a masterpiece. As a spider, though, Sophie has a hard time finding a welcoming place in which she can be free to live and spin. She’s shooed and shuffled all over Beekman’s Boardinghouse until one day she finally finds the warm, comfortable, safe home for which she always yearned — and the inspiration for the masterpiece of her lifetime.

This inspirational story is the foundation for a variety of social studies, language arts, science, math, and art lessons. Grab our free Sophie’s Masterpiece unit study and lapbook and get started.

Thanks to Celia Hartmann for writing the lessons for this Sophie’s Masterpiece unit study.

Sophie’s Masterpiece Unit Study Lessons

This unit study includes lessons and printables based on the book Sophie’s Masterpiece: A Spider’s Tale by Eileen Spinelli.

Here are some sample lessons from the Sophie’s Masterpiece Unit Study.

Occupations: Artists
What does an artist do? Is it only someone who paints or draws? Ask your student to think of all the ways someone can be an artist. Help him to understand that an artist can be a weaver, a quilter, a singer, dancer, etc.

An older student may be interested to learn about all of these various types of artists:

Multi-media artists and animators create art on film, video, or with computers. They use computers to create the large pictures that form movies, TV programs, and computer games.

Fine artists create original art. They specialize in one or two art forms, such as painting, illustrating, sketching, sculpting, printmaking, and restoring.

Craft artists create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale or to exhibit in galleries or museums.

Illustrators create pictures for publications. They also create pictures for products such as wrapping paper, stationery, greeting cards, and calendars.

Cartoonists draw political, advertising, social, and sports cartoons. Some cartoonists work with others who create the idea or story and write the captions.

Sketch artists draw using pencil, charcoal, or pastels. Their work can be used by many different people for a wide range of purposes.

Sculptors make artwork using clay, glass, wire, fabric, plaster, wood, or stone. Some combine materials to make art.

Print makers create printed images. They use wood, stone, or metal. Some also use computers to aid in their work.

Science: Spiders
Spiders are part of the arachnid family and are not insects. Arachnids have eight legs (remind your student that an insect only has six legs). Arachnids have two main body parts: the cephalothorax and the abdomen (an insect has three). Spiders have a silk gland in their abdomen (tummy) that allows it to make webs. The tips of the legs of a spider are oily and this is what keeps it from getting tangled in its own web. Most spiders only live about a year. In our story, Sophie is a Nursery Web Spider. Nursery Web Spiders eat small crawling insects, but do not spin webs to catch their prey. They make webs for their young and then stand guard over them.

Speaking of spiders and silk, did you know that all spiders make silk, but they use it in different ways?

Some spiders use silk to build their homes. Many spiders use silk to build webs and catch their prey. Spiders also use their silk to make an egg sac to protect their eggs.

You can grab a copy of the entire Sophie’s Masterpiece Unit Study and Lapbook in an easy-to-print file at the end of this post.

Sophie’s Masterpiece Lapbook Printables

In addition to the unit study lessons, this file includes these mini-books for your student to create a Sophie’s Masterpiece Lapbook:

  • Different Kinds of Artists Matchbooks & Cover Book
  • My List of Wonders Simple Fold Book
  • My Masterpiece Activity Page
  • New Words Mini-book
  • Matching Masterpieces Art & Pocket
  • Memory Verse Matchbooks
  • The Things Sophie Made Flap Book
  • Life Cycle of a Spider Flap Book
  • Spiders vs. Insects Mini-book
  • My Spider Diagram (label the spider parts)
  • Three Ways Spiders Use Silk Fan
  • Compound Words Simple Fold
  • Seven Wonders of the Ancient World Images (create your own mini-book)

How to Get Started with Your Sophie’s Masterpiece Unit Study & Lapbook

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the Sophie’s Masterpiece Unit Study and Lapbook:

  1. Buy a copy of the book, Sophie’s Masterpiece, or borrow one from your local library.
  2. Print the Sophie’s Masterpiece unit study.
  3. Choose the lessons you want to use with your student (a highlighter works great for this).
  4. Choose and prepare the lapbook printables you want to use with your student.
  5. Enjoy a week of learning with Sophie the artist.

Get Your Free Sophie’s Masterpiece Unit Study & Lapbook

Simply click on the image below to access your free Sophie’s Masterpiece Unit Study and Lapbook.

Sophie’s Masterpiece Unit Study & Lapbook

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