This lesson will take more than one day to complete.
Children often do not understand spiders because spiders look scary. Explain to students that counting and graphs show us information. Tell the students they will be creating and observing the habitat of spiders. Students will understand and explain environmental conditions that lead to survival. Students will work cooperatively with others. The students will understand the connections between animals and the habitats they live in. The students will work cooperatively to complete the task of creating a class vivarium.
Activity 1 Like or Not Like Spiders
1) On the interactive whiteboard, the class will create a graph representing the students that like spiders and the students that do not like spiders. Allow students to suggest different ways to make these sets.
2) Discuss the graph data. Compare the numbers. How many more like spiders than not like? What do we do to compare two numbers to see which is greater? (We can count; match the squares to see which ones are left over; subtract.)
3) The teacher will read the book "Bugs for Lunch" by Margery Facklam.
B. Teaching/Learning Activities
1) The class will create a KWL chart about spiders.
2) On a sticky note, students will write one question they have about spiders.
3) Each student will use an online search engine to find the answer to their question. The questions and answers will be displayed on the classroom interactive whiteboard.
Activity 2 Spider Vivarium
1) Place soil in the bottom of an aquarium tank and cover it with a few leaves, rocks, and a large branch. Place a small wet sponge in the tank for moisture. Place the spiders in the tank. Cover the tank with cheesecloth. Tape the cover in place. Place water on the sponge periodically. Have children observe the spiders over several days.
2) Students will study spiders by observing them in a close to nature state. They will describe the spider's physical features and their eating (mating and reproducing behavior, if possible) from observations. Observations will be an ongoing process throughout the lesson. Do they move around much? Do they eat leaves? If lucky, the spiders will spin a web on the branch. Do spiders sense light? Darken the room and then use a flashlight. Do they like light? Do spiders sense noise? List other ways students have tried to stimulate the spiders to get a response.
1) Have a short discussion about their experiences with spiders. Include where spiders are found; what they look like; what they do; and why students are or not afraid of them. Construct two graphs to depict students' preferences toward spiders before and at the end of the lesson. Students will continue to make observations of spiders in the vivarium throughout the week. Students will document their findings in their science journal.