Spiders are Cool!

 

Three weeks ago, I noticed both class were interested in spiders, the MWF class was finding spider webs on the playground and the TR had become interested in Daddy long legs. To introduce the topic, we read the Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle. Then we tried to build our own webs with yarn on the classroom chairs. The children problem solved to wrap the yarn around the legs of the chairs so it wouldn’t slip and make their web in the empty space between the legs of the chair. By the end, the Fireflies appreciated the work of the very busy spider. Two graphs are hanging in our room; each class was asked, “Do you like spiders?” and “Do you like you like arachnids?” and their yes or no answers were recorded on the graph. The interesting twist was the Fireflies didn’t know what the word arachnid meant! So when they were told that arachnid is the scientific name for spider, they quickly realized the graph needed to be changed to reflect their new knowledge. The Fireflies were extremely excited when the Kindergarten found a Marbled Orb Weaver, a beautiful orange spider with a huge abdomen. It even built a web in the observation container! We discussed how a spider uses non-sticky building lines to assemble the structure of the web and sticky lines to catch insects. We used non sticky string and sticky wiki sticks to build our own web at Circle Time. We pondered if our web would catch a fly and sure enough after lunch, a pesky fly was stuck in our web! The Fireflies have been building there own webs during free play with the same materials. After both the MWF and TR classes had seen the Marbled Orb Weaver we decided the best place to release the spider in the garden. The Fireflies have become master experts at finding spiders and having observed several spiders up close, we are now learning the body parts of a spider: cephalothorax(a fused head and thorax), abdomen, two fangs, eight eyes, eight legs and a spinneret(produces the silk thread that builds a web). We are in the process of building are own spiders, choosing colors for each body part and using our observation skills to draw “exactly what you see.” We even named our spiders and the pictures will be assembled into a class book.!