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The World of Spiders

 

 
Rhonda Hawley, Educator, MathScience Innovation Center

 

 

Developed with funding from the MathScience Innovation Center, the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation, Midlothian Rotary Club, and Windsor Foundation.

 


 

Major Understanding

Spiders are not insects, as shown by many structural differences. They are a very diverse and essential group of organisms to life on our planet.

 

 

 

 

Grade/Subject

Grade 3; Biology & Environmental Science

 

 

 

 

Objectives

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State three major structural differences between spiders and insects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Identify two structural adaptations that allow a spider to be a successful predator

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Name two ways spiders use silk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Explain how a spider eats its food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Identify a Black Widow spider.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Identify two ways a spider uses camouflage to protect itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Explain how a spider grows by molting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Identify two ways that humans affect the life cycle of a spider.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Identify the spiderís role in an ecosystem.

 

 

 

 

 

Time

(2 hour lesson) 

 

Introduction: Anansi!

5 min

 

Anticipatory Set

5 min

 

Activity: Web Vibrations

10 min

 

Activity: Velcro Webs

10 min

 

Slide Presentation: Spinnerets & Web Design

15 min

 

Activity: Eyes of a Spider

15 min

 

 

Demonstration: Wolfing Down Insects

5 min

 

 

Practice: Rotating Among Spider Learning Stations

45 min

 

 

Closure

10 min

 

Extensions

Variable

 

Assessment

Variable

 

 

 

Materials

The visiting school is requested to provide nametags for each student.

 

Each student will be provided with:

 

1 copy of Spider Room Stations Work Sheet

Pencil

 

The class will be actively involved in using the following materials and living organisms during the lesson:

 

  • Spiders: red-kneed tarantula; stripe-kneed tarantula; sunburst baboon tarantula; pink-toed tarantula; wolf spider; jumping spiders; fishing spider; garden spiders; green lynx spider; etc.

Instruction and Demonstration                                   

  • Web Spinning Video
  • Slides: Spinnerets & Web Design             
  • Velcro Web & Velcro Balls     
  • Spider Cam     
  • Ball & Rope Web                                            
  • Laminated Paper Eyes
  • Square Sampling of Spiders     

Learning Station 1

  • Camouflage
  • Foam Spiders

Learning Station 2

  • Video Microscope
  • Plastomounts of Brown Recluse
  • Plastomounts of Black Widow
  • Listening Center
  • Hand Lens

Learning Station 3

        Spider Parts Board

        Spin-A-Spider

        Spider Prints

Learning Station 4

  • Video Microscope
  • Spider Specimens

Learning Station 5

  • Preserved Molts
  • Tarantula Molting Video
  • PC Screen       
  • Molting Uniforms

Learning Station 6

        Clear Geoboards

        Web Templates

        Connect-the-Web

Learning Station 7

        Drawing Template  

 

 

 

 

State and National Correlations

Virginia Standards of Learning: Science: (3.1, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.8, 3.10)

 

National Science Education Standards: Observe, predict, infer, and draw conclusions; investigate and understand that behavioral and physical adaptations allow animals to respond to life needs, including methods of gathering and storing food, finding shelter, defending themselves, and rearing young; identify predator/prey relationships; investigate relationships among populations and communities; animal life cycles; and the human affects on the quality of habitat.

 

 

 

 

Instructional Strategies

Pre-Lesson Classroom Activities

        Have the students find a spider around their house and observe it for 15 minutes. Caution the students not to touch the spider or the web. Have the students get their parent to carefully touch the web with a stick and observe the actions of the spider. Have the students draw a picture of a spider and bring it to the lesson.

        Review the following terms with the students: predator, prey, exoskeleton, camouflage and poisonous.

        ďVisitĒ before your ďvisitĒ with a virtual tour of the Spider Room!    Log on to:

 http://www.spiderroom.info

        Provide students with name tags to assist the Center instructor to involve all children in the lesson.

        Classroom teacherís assistance is requested at stations 5 and 6 to help students complete the activities.

 

Anticipatory Set

        Introduction of Spider Room Mascot: Anansi!

        Video Clip: Spider Spinning a Web

 

Activity: Web Vibrations

 

Activity: Velcro Web

 

Slide Presentation: Spinnerets & Web Design

 

Activity: Eyes of a Spider

 

Demonstration: Wolfing Down Insects

 

 

 

 

Practice

Activity: Rotating Among Spider Learning Stations

Review of Spider Stations Activity

 

 

 

 

Closure

Review of concepts learned and essential vocabulary.

Visit website: http://www.spiderroom.info

 

 

 

 

Extensions

1.     Check out Spiderology Kit from the MathScience Innovation Center to teach additional information in your classroom.

2.     Have students draw a second picture of an individual spider, including such information as: the spiderís size in Metric units (the student could measure out the size on a piece of paper, showing something of comparable size); the use of silk; how the spider captures itís food; what the spider eats; and the spiderís life cycle.

3.     Visit Anansi at: http://www.spiderroom.info to find out more about spiders and their unique characteristics. Students can take quizzes and earn rewards; hide a spider to test the spiderís camouflage abilities; cook up some spider treats; elect a state spider for Virginia; go on a Spider Safari; and much more!

4.     Have students look for and bring to class spider toys, decorations, etc. Place them all on a table and allow students to classify them as anatomically and non-anatomically correct spiders, based on the body parts examined in the lesson.

5.     Read the book, The Very Busy Spider, by Eric Carle. Have students write a poem about spiders. Write the poem on construction paper with a permanent marker. Then with clear drying liquid glue, have students draw and orb web over the poem on the construction paper. Allow to dry overnight.

 

 

 

 

Assessment

Sample items are provided for use in checking studentsí understanding or may be used as a paper-pencil test.

 

Paper-Pencil Test: The World of Spiders

Product: The World of Spiders

Rubric: The World of Spiders

 

The following table shows how the assessment items are related to specific objectives.

 

 

 

 

 

Objective

Paper-Pencil Test

Product/
Performance

 

State three major structural differences between spiders and insects.

1, 2

 

 

Identify two structural adaptations that allow a spider to be a successful predator.

3, 6, 7, 8

 

 

Name two ways spiders use silk.

4

 

 

Explain how a spider eats its food.

6

 

 

Identify a Black Widow spider.

10

 

 

Identify two ways a spider uses camouflage to protect itself.

 

Spiderstation

 

Explain how a spider grows by molting.

9

 

 

Identify two ways that humans affect the life cycle of a spider.

11

 

 

Identify the spiderís role in an ecosystem.

5

 

 

Major Understanding: Spiders are not insects, as shown by many structural differences. They are a very diverse and essential group of organisms to life on our planet.

 

Refer to Product and Rubric provided

 

 

Teaching Tips

 

Set up a spider habitat in your classroom for students to get an up-close look at spiders. Just click on the link for ďHome Away From HomeĒ to access a pdf file that gives you all the directions for setting up a spider habitat!

 

Activity 101A: Home Away From Home

 

Background Information

     There are over 30,000 species of recognized spiders. These species are divided into about 60 families. Spiders are in the Animal kingdom; phylum Arthropoda; class Arachnida; order Araneae. Close relatives to the spiders, in the Arachnid class, are the tick, scorpion, mite and horseshoe crab. Daddy Longlegs are not TRUE spiders because they have only one body part. 

     Spiders exhibit variety in body structures, movement, color, shape and life span. Scientists believe this variety has resulted from adaptations of spiders to an environment. Individuals must develop skill in observation to increase awareness of the variety of spiders.

     Special body structures enable spiders to move from one place to another; obtain and consume food; defend themselves; reproduce; obtain oxygen and release carbon dioxide and to communicate. Most spiders are harmless to humans.

      An interesting fact was gleaned by scientists, who were studying the number of spiders that could be found in a single acre of land. The experiment took place in England and over a period of time the same area was sampled to derive an average number of spiders (using a square foot sampling method). What they found is amazing. An average of 2,000,000 spiders were found to inhabit a single acre of land!

 

Answers to Paper-Pencil Test: The World of Spiders

1.      Circle the spider

2.      I --- wings                S --- no wings            
S --- pedipalps         I --- antennae            
S --- 8 legs               I --- 6 legs        
I --- 3 body parts     S --- 2 body parts

3.      b) they need to be able to see both their predators and their prey.

4.      Answers may vary; egg sac, web, to line their home, etc.

5.      c) Spiders are predators that keep the insect population under control.

6.      b) help digest the insides of the prey and turn them in to a liquid.

7.      Circle all but the plant.

8.      d) insects

9.      d) molting or shedding their skin.

10.  Circle the black spider hanging upside down.

       11.  Answers may vary; this question is designed to help students

             understand that humans do have a part in the life cycle of a

             spider.

 

 

 

 

References

There are many excellent spider web sites with links of interest. Below are some the Center has found useful for elementary students.

 

Defense/Danger

http://www.kidshealth.org/ Once you are on the main page, click on either parents site or kids site and type in brown recluse spider in the search box.

 

http://www.kidshealth.org/ Once you are on the main page, click on either parents site or kids site and type in black widow in the search box.

 

http://lancaster.unl.edu Once you are on the main page, click on Insects, Spiders, Mice & More at the bottom of the main page. Then find Insect Pests click on this link. Next select Spiders and read all about spider bites and more.

 

Diversity

http://tolweb.org/tree/ Once you are on the main page, type jumping spider diversity in the search box, and then explore!

 

http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/ Once you are on the main page click on Lessons and check out the lessons entitled: Animal Diversity (K-2); Classification 1: Classification Scheme (3-5); and Classification 2: A Touch of Class (3-5).

 

General Information  

http://sln.fi.edu/qa99/spotlight5

                       

Interesting Uses for Silk

http://www.accessexcellence.org/WN/SU/spider.html

 

MathInScience.info

Visit our educational resource site to acquire web-based lessons and resources for students and teachers.

http://MathInScience.info

MathScience Innovation Center
Visit our Center site to see all thatís new and happening at the MathScience Innovation Center.
http://msinnovation.info

SpiderRoom.info
This site was created and is operated by the MathScience Innovation Center and offers a wide variety of activities for the teacher and students all centered on spiders. Some big topics that are covered are: the anatomy of a spider, spider life cycles, spider webs, spider survival, and many different spider species.
http://spiderroom.info