Halloween STEM Challenge Activity - Creature Catcher Spider Web

Rated 4.94 out of 5, based on 313 reviews
313 Ratings
Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching
Grade Levels
2nd - 8th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Zip
31 pages
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Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching

What educators are saying

My students loved this activity! It was a little challenging too, but it gave them opportunities to work as a team and problem solve.
This was awesome. It engaged all grades and was very easy to set up and clean up. Great for Halloween stem days!
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  3. Halloween STEM Challenges are collaborative, brain-busting work disguised as fun! Creature Catcher is from Bone Bridge® STEM Challenges!The basic premise:Students work in partners or groups against a criteria and constraints list to design a device to catch as many “creatures” as possible. The often
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Halloween STEM activities are collaborative, brain-busting work disguised as fun! While spider web designs definitely come to mind, there are many ways to catch a creature. Let your students' imagination and creativity shine by leaving the challenge open-ended.

The basic premise:

Students work in partners or groups against a criteria and constraints list to design a device to catch as many “creatures” as possible.

If you aren't allowed to do Halloween activities, you can use this to start off a unit on spiders, food chains/webs, energy pyramids and more!


Note: This is the printable version, and the editable versions of student handouts can be uploaded to Google Slides™. However, if you are in a 1:1 / paperless classroom, you may prefer the digital option designed specifically for use with GOOGLE SLIDES™.

If you have questions about which version is right for you, please feel free to leave me a question using the product Q&A below.


Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified.

Sample/suggested materials for each student or group::

  • Yarn, string, or twine (3 – 5 yards)
  • Pipe Cleaners (4 – 6)
  • Scissors
  • Creatures: plastic bugs, bats, spiders, etc. (one set per class or per testing station will do)
  • ~12 x 12 in. mat or bucket


  • Additions or substitutions for string:
    • ribbon
    • cable ties
    • shoelaces
  • Coffee filters, foil, or paper (makes the challenge easier for younger students)
  • Tape
  • Mix-ins (if adding increased-difficulty criterion for some objects to pass through the creature catcher)


Product includes:

NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8

Teacher Tips

  • Links to a video walk-through of the challenge & my STEM Challenge PD video series
  • Premise & Set-up
  • Materials and timing
  • Modifying Criteria & Constraints to adjust challenge difficulty
  • Measuring results
  • Post-design extension activities list & links

EDITABLE Student Handouts

  • Criteria and Constraints List (editable version provided)
  • Results and Design Analysis Handouts (editable; 2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded spacing for primary students included)
  • Discussion Questions (editable)

Extension templates

  • Process Flow Map
  • Task card template (editable; 12 sample questions ranging age/skill level provided as well as editable versions and blank versions for students to create their own questions)
  • Task card template for answer key (note: answers are not provided as questions will be generated based on student designs.)


What are teachers saying about Creature Catcher?

“This was a favorite for my students:)”

"I have adapted this for use with Kinders through 8th graders and they all loved it! Thanks for providing such a fun and useful resource!"

Extremely thorough and well written! Can't wait for more of your STEM resources!”

“Modified this for my 1st graders to work with the 8th graders. Both the classes loved it!

“My second graders had so much fun! We used this as a science/STEM center. Easy to implement and very engaging."

One of the best things I have ever purchased on TPT! It was awesome and still very educational! Kids loved having fun while learning! I am buying more STEM from her now!”

“My class LOVED this activity and enjoyed comparing their creature catchers. They were surprised by the different ways a group could be successful. Thank you for sharing.”

"Fun stem activity for students. I added information about different types of spider webs and how spiders catch prey. Students then tried it out and found out it was a little harder to be a spider than they expected!" (7th grade teacher)

"I love your STEM challenge formatting and wonderful ideas. Thanks!" (6th and 8th grade teacher)


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Halloween Parts of Speech Activity (2nd – 3rd)

Getting Started with STEM Challenges FREEBIE

Total Pages
31 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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