Monday, October 22, 2012

Learning with Spiders

I love spider week. There are so many things to learn about them. We were able to do some experiments, learn the parts of a spider, and play some pretty fun games. I will add a caption to the pics so you will know what is going on.

Spider Bowling: We added spider die-cuts to the bowling pins. This was a math activity. Each child had 2 turns to knock down all six pins. They had to add the numbers together to see how many in all were knocked down. We also figured out how many more were needed to have all the pins down. We incorporated more, less, greater than, etc. in determining the winner.

Ok, so in order to REALLY learn about spiders, you have to have a real spider to observe. Mrs. Ables found a great garden spider so we just shared with her. Pretty cool and creepy huh???

How do spiders not stick to their webs? Well, some spiders have a nonstick coating on their legs. We learned all about that. Each child had a spider stamp on one hand. The 2 fingers being held up are their spider legs. We added some baby oil to these fingers. The other hand were their insect legs. First we used our insect legs to walk across the web (tape). What happened? We stuck to it!!!! Then we used our spider legs to walk across the web and we were so excited to learn that we could walk without sticking!

How do spiders eat? Spiders use their venom to turn the insides of insects into liquid since they can't chew. We used sugar cubes and water to show how this works. Each child had a fang with venom (water dropper with water) and dropped it on the insect (sugar cube). What happened? It turned into liquid. We were amazed! Then it was easy to "drink" our insect. Ok, actually we used the dropper but it was easy too!!!!!

These are the spiders we made to show how spiders walk on webs without sticking. It says, "Spider ________ doesn't stick to the web because he has oil on his feet." We hung them on a big web with a poem I wrote and displayed them in the hallway.

We made a game for Farm Day a couple of years ago. My sweet friend, Suzan Estes, got it when she went to Ag in the Classroom. After making this math/science game, I decided it was a fun learning idea that could be incorporated into a lot of different themes. I made one for spiders. The kids used black table cloths for the body/abdomen. I am going to try something different next time because they do not work well with a lot of little 5 year old kids pulling at them. We had fang necklaces to show the 2 fangs; 8 eyes on a headband, and clothespins to hold the 8 legs on  the body. Each part corresponded to a number on the dice. We had a race to see who could become a spider first. Each table group had to decide who would be the spider. The tricky part was that the spider could not help. The table friends had to do all the work. It was hilarious to watch!!! Ignore the butterfly wings. I tried that under the tablecloth so they wouldn't get pinched by the clothespins. I did not like it and won't use them anymore.

The first spider to sit on his web!!

I am going to work on it some more to see if I can figure out things that would work a little better. Maybe fabric for the body and butcher paper legs? They enjoyed it though and can definitely tell you all the parts of a spider. That's what counts.

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