Reading Together

Storybook Guide for Tim Hopgood’s “Walter’s Wonderful Web”

Explore math while reading and talking about this storybook.

Topic:

Activity Summary

Use this storybook guide with the book “Walter’s Wonderful Web.”
Many public libraries have this book.

Reading guide

About the Story

Walter the spider is determined to make a perfect web. But his webs are wibbly-wobbly and blow away in the wind. Walter then thinks that webs made of simple shapes like triangles, circles, and squares might work better. But the wind blows them away, too. Walter does not give up. He keeps trying until he makes the perfect strong web.

Words to Learn

SHAPES AND SPATIAL WORDS
triangle, square, rectangle, diamond (also called a rhombus), round, circle, sides, up, down, small, bigger, longer, taller

OTHER WORDS
 determined, perhaps, twisted, twirled, shone, wonderful

About the Math

 Walter’s Wonderful Web is a book about shapes. In this book, children can learn:

  • The names of common shapes as Walter builds webs out of triangles, squares, rectangles, diamonds (rhombuses), and circles.
  • That shapes can come in different sizes. For example, the circles toward the center of the web are small and become increasingly larger toward the edge of the web.
  • That shapes have distinct features that make them unique. For example, circles are round and have no straight sides, whereas triangles have three straight sides and three angles.

Math Talk During Reading

  • NAME THE SHAPES
    “What shape is Walter’s web? How do you know?”
  • TALK ABOUT SHAPE FEATURES 
    “Which triangle is the smallest/biggest? Are the lines in the triangle round or straight?”
  • COMPARE SHAPES
    “Walter made this web out of squares and this web out of rectangles. How are the shapes similar/different?” 
  • NAME AND COUNT SHAPES ON THE LAST PAGE
    “Look how many shapes Walter used to make his big web! What shape do you see? How many are there?”

Try to come up with some of your own questions and comments, too!

Activity After Reading

  • MAKE A SPIDER WEB
    Fold a square piece of paper diagonally in half multiple times, making smaller and smaller triangles. Cut different shapes along the edges of the folded triangle. Unfold the paper to reveal a unique paper spider web and name the shapes you see.