Spiders - Lesson 1: Spiders! Scary or Nice?
BIG IDEAS: Humans often do not understand spiders because spiders look scary.
Counting and graphs help us show information.
On this page
- Encountering the Idea
- Exploring the Idea
- Getting the Idea
- Organizing the Idea
- Closure and Assessment
- List of Activities for this Lesson
Whole Group Activities
- Books: Spiders by J. Dallinger or El Gato Araña by N. Bayley
- Collection of pictures of different kinds of spiders and different insects
such as bees, grasshoppers, snails, snakes, etc.
- Collection of pictures of different-size spiders
- Magnifying glasses to observe spiders in the vivarium
- Word tags: life cycle, egg sac, ballooning, spiderlings, food chain, vivarium,
others, as they are needed
Read a book on spiders to the students; example: Spiders or El
Have a short discussion with students about their experiences with spiders. Include
where spiders are found; what they look like; what they do;
and why students are or are not afraid of them.
Construct two graphs to depict students' feelings toward spiders before and
at the end of the lesson and at the end of the unit. Do
Activity - Like or Not Like. The second graph shows the new vocabulary
and information about spiders.
At the Science Center, students place spiders they have collected into their
class vivarium. Do Activity - Spider Vivarium.
Students collect insects such as flies, grasshoppers, etc. to feed the spiders.
They find out what foods to bring
to the vivarium. Students observe the spiders using magnifying glasses when
necessary and write or dictate observations about the live spiders. Students
describe what they see. (These descriptions can serve as a part of the lesson
At the Music and Drama Centers, sing and act out songs and nursery rhymes.
Introduce songs and rhymes to the whole group in the first lesson and keep them
in the centers for rest of the unit. Using nursery rhymes, students role play
"Little Miss Muffet" and "Eensy, Weensy Spider."
At the Mathematics Center, the students do
Activity - Like or Not Like.
At the Art Center, the students make a wall spider. Students draw or paint
individual spiders to place on the bulletin board.
Students can also make flannel board spider body parts by cutting the body parts
out of flannel and putting them together with glue or sewing them. The different
parts can be made from different-colored flannel. (The teacher can prepare
flannel spiders to use in the Game Center as puzzles.)
At the Art and Drama Centers, act out rhymes. Students also make paper puppets
related to Spiders and El Gato Araña and role play an original story.
At the Writing Center, students work on a vocabulary list by locating
new word tags in alphabetical order on the wall spider as they learn them, e.g., life
cycle, egg sac, ballooning, spiderlings, food chain.
Students verbalize any decisions to qualify their spider preferences after the
lesson and write their comments over or under their names on the graph.
Place graph chart in Mathematics Center to add to as students work on the unit.
Students construct one set representing the students that like spiders, and
another set representing the students that do not like spiders. (Students suggest
ways to make these sets.)
Next, name the number of students that do, and then the number that do not
like spiders. Talk about these two sets showing different groups of people.
Example: By using beans, represent the students belonging to the set who like
spiders, and make the other set of linking cubes represent students who do not
like them. Obtain the number for each set from the graphs at Mathematics Center.
This can be done for the "after" set also.
The sets constructed in the Mathematics Center under Organizing the Idea
can be part of the lesson assessment.
- What do the markers inside the set represent? How many students like
spiders? How do you know? How many do not like spiders? How do you know? Show
this in two different ways. (Using sets and using numbers.)
- Why didn't you put all of the markers inside only one set? (You have to
show two different sets because there were two different groups.)
- Which set has more/less?
- In which set do you belong?
- Were the sets different after the lesson? Why?
- What did we learn about spiders?
- Students will make drawings of sets constructed at Mathematics Center.
- Assess individual graphs constructed by students for student understanding.
- Like or Not Like
- Spider Vivarium