Printer Friendly

Spiders.

Level E

What is a Spider?

Spiders belong to the arachnid (a RAK nid) family, which also includes scorpions, mites, and daddy longlegs. Arachnids have hard protective outer shells called exoskeletons that protect and support them. All spiders have 8 jointed legs and 2 body parts - the cephalothorax (sef e le THOR aks) and the abdomen (AB de men). Their 8 legs are always attached to the cephalothorax section. Each leg may have 2 to 3 claws at its tip. Spiders are not insects and do not have wings or antennae.

How Do Spiders "See?"

Spiders can have up to 4 pairs of eyes. Even though they can sense movement and see shadows, spiders have pretty poor eyesight. To make up for this, they have hairs all over their bodies. Different vibrations cause these hairs to bend. By the way they bend, spiders can tell if food is close by or an enemy is approaching. Spiders also rely on small structures called slit sensilla to gather information about the environment. These help spiders feel changes in pressure around them. The combination of these different sensory structures helps spiders to be extremely successful at catching insects.

Spider Silk

All spiders spin thin strings called silk. The silk starts out as a liquid produced by the spider's silk glands and leaves through their spinnerets. Some spiders use their silk to make webs, while others use it to make nests. Some may use it to wrap up their prey to eat at a later time.

Some spider silk is very sticky, which helps the spider to trap insects. Other silk is extremely strong and elastic. Some spiders even use their silk for traveling. They just let the wind carry them along like little balloons.

Scientists are researching ways to produce large amounts of spider silk. It is believed that it could be used for constructing things like airplane wings, bulletproof vests, surgical thread, and cables for bridges.

Spiders can be either web-builders or wanderers. Web-builders trap their food in their sticky webs. Wanderers go out and hunt for their food. Many people don't think of spiders as being helpful, but they are! Spiders help to control the insect population which can often destroy crops and carry disease.

DID YOU KNOW??

Spiders kill insects by injecting them with venom. This turns the insides of the insect into liquid. Then the spider just sucks it out.

DID YOU KNOW??

Spiders have special organs on their feet for tasting and smelling. They must walk on Something to taste it.

DID YOU KNOW??

All spiders make silk, but not all spiders spin webs.

DID YOU KNOW??

There are more than 34,000 different kinds of spiders all over the world.

DID YOU KNOW??

Some spiders live in trees, Under the ground, and even in water. Some grow as large as 30 cm (1 foot) long.

DID YOU KNOW??

Wolf spiders often carry as many as 200 babies on their backs.

Vocabulary

Spiders are arachnids. Follow the words with a short [i] sound to the center of the web.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

DID YOU KNOW??

Though most spiders have 8 eyes, some have 2, 4, or 6 eyes. Even with all of these eyes, spiders still have very poor eyesight.

DID YOU KNOW??

Spiders were one of the first animals to live on land.

DID YOU KNOW??

Some spiders spin as many as 6 different kinds of spider silks.

Adult supervision recommended.

Weekly Lab

Make your own trap-door spider. These spiders build their homes under the ground and quickly jump out when their prey walks by.

Trap-door spiders are very fast.

You need: a toilet paper tube, rubber band (cut open), a piece of string about 15 cm (6 in.) long, paper hole reinforcer, hole punch, scissors, tape, paper, piece of cardboard

Step 1: Trace the end of the your toilet paper tube onto a piece of paper. Cut out the circle. This is your spider's trap door.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Step 2: Tape the trap door to the end of the tube. (See No. 1)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Step 3: Cut out the circle with the spider (No. 2) and punch out the hole. Put a paper reinforcer on the back of the hole.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Step 4: Now, tie one end of the rubber band to the hole in your spider. Then tie one end of the string to the same hole.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Step 5: Tape the loose end of the string to the outside of the tube. Tuck your spider inside the tube, leaving the end of the rubber band hanging down. (See No. 4) Close the trap door.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Step 6: Trace the end of your toilet tube onto your piece of cardboard. Cut out the hole. Decorate the cardboard to look like the ground outside. Tape the cardboard to look your desk, leaving the area under the hole open. Now, position your "trap" under the hole in the cardboard. Keeping your arm outstretched, pull down on the rubber band and quickly let go! What happened?

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Weekly Problem

Color the spaces that can be evenly divided by 12 - black. Color the spaces that can be evenly divided by 15 - yellow Color the spaces that can be evenly divided by 10 - red.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

DID YOU KNOW??

Jumping spiders can jump up to 40 times their own length.

Writing for Science

You have just finished your new book "An Arachnid Anthology" and are getting ready to send it off to your publisher. As you look through it one last time, you notice 3 blank pages!!! These were the ones that covered the Black Widow Spider, the Funnel Web Spider, the Bolas Spider, the Brown Recluse Spider, the Water Spider, the Nursery Web Spider, the Wolf Spider, the Purse Web Spider, the Orb Weaver Spider, the Crab Spider, and the Tarantula.

You only have time to write about 3 spiders on this list and still make your deadline!

Do some quick research and write down several interesting facts about each of the 3 spiders you choose.

Don't forget to include drawings.

GOOD LUCK ... and hurry!!!

DID YOU KNOW??

Some spider silk is as strong as steel while others are as elastic as rubber bands.

DID YOU KNOW??

Some spiders can live up to 28 years, but most only live a year.

Challenge

Spiders are not insects, but they do have some things in common. Write each letter in the the space it best fits.

A) 8 legs

B) 6 legs

C) 2 body parts

D) have antennae

E) eat insects

F) can spin webs

G) have wings

H) have many babies

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

DID YOU KNOW??

Some spider webs may contain miles of spider silk.

Puzzle

WHAT IS IT?? Look carefully at each picture. Then go to Section 1. Does 1-a or 1-b describe the characteristics of the animal you see in each picture? Now, follow the dotted line after the one you choose. This will give you the animal's name or tell you what to do next.

[ILLUSTRATIONS OMITTED]
(1) a) 8 legs Go to Section 2.
 b) 6 legs This is an insect.

(2) a) long tail and pincers This is a scorpion.
 b) no long tail or pincers Go to Section 3.

(3) a) builds webs This is a web-builder spider.
 b) very large or very small Go to Section 4.

(4) a) hairy and very large This is a tarantula.
 b) very small, less than 5 mm This is a mite.

BONUS: What is another name for a harvestman? --


DID YOU KNOW??

There are only 2 spiders in the U.S. that are dangerous to humans - the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse.

TEACHING NOTES (TN)

Supplement to Science Weekly Publication Pre-A through F

BACKGROUND

In the world of comic books, Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider and becomes Spiderman. He develops special powers like the ability to climb tall buildings, has a keen "spidey" sense, and builds mechanical web-slingers to stop villains in their tracks.

Like the fictitious hero they inspire, spiders are our protectors. However, instead of battling villains in trenchcoats, our 8-legged friends eat pests that spread disease and destroy crops. Once you get past their creepy and crawly appearance, these creatures become less frightening and more fascinating, with a diversity of colors, sizes, and abilities that often resemble superheroes.

For instance, the crab spider has the ability to camouflage itself, changing color to match the flowers it hides in. Meanwhile the ant spider looks just like - you guessed it - an ant, except for its extra 2 legs and longer thorax. This disguise deters predators who fear an ant's sting.

While it looks big and mean, the tarantula must protect itself from predators as well, such as rodents and lizards. While it can produce venom, it often defends itself using the tiny hooked hairs along its back. A quick sweep of the leg and the hairs land on the skin of a hungry would-be attacker, causing serious irritation. Just as fascinating, the water spider can build an underwater web that it keeps filled with air bubbles. Spiders have been able to survive in all sorts of unlikely places with their incredible abilities and keen resourcefulness.

How about spiders in outer space? Scientists have been planning an experiment to place orb weaver spiders on the Space Shuttle to determine how the spiders adapt to weightlessness. Orb weaver spiders build their webs by first laying a "dragline," with its strongest type of silk, then connecting it to another object, creating a bridge. Without gravity, scientists wonder if the orb weavers will be able to use their dragline or if they will have to figure out another way to construct their webs.

Spiders on Earth

The word spider is believed to come from the old English word "spinnan" which means to spin. Today, more than 34,000 different species of spiders inhabit the Earth. These amazing creatures are members of the Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Arthropoda, Class Arachnida. Unlike insects, arachnids do not have antennae or wings. They have a hard exoskeleton, jointed appendages, 8 legs, and 2 body regions - the cephalothorax and the abdomen. Other members of the arachnid family include scorpions, mites, ticks, and harvestmen (daddy longlegs).

The legs of a spider are attached to the cephalothorax region and are made of 7 different segments, with comb-like claws at their tips. To bend its legs, a spider simply contracts its leg muscles. To straighten them again, however, requires a spider to pump each leg full of fluid.

Spiders also have pedipalps which are found at the sides of their mouths. They look like tiny legs and are often mistaken for antennae. They serve as "feelers" and aid in feeding and reproduction.

Spiders' exoskeletons are made of chitin, a protective material that keeps moisture in and provides structural support. In order to grow, spiders shed their old body, a process called molting. Until they reach adulthood, spiders molt several times. Spiders also have the ability to "drop off a leg" when they are trying to escape an enemy. Until their last molts, spiders can regenerate their lost limbs, a trick of nature called autotomy.

Dinner is Served

Even though they dine on insects, spiders are actually on a liquid diet. Unlike most animals, spiders digest their food outside of their bodies. This is done by injecting venom into their prey. Spider venom contains enzymes that break down the prey's inner organs and tissues, turning them into liquid. Then spiders use their powerful stomachs to suck out their liquid meal, or "bug juice," if you like.

While all spiders produce venom, most are harmless to humans. Only 2 types of spiders found in the U.S. are poisonous to people: the black widow and the brown recluse. These spiders can be easily identified by their distinctive physical characteristics. The black widow has a red hourglass marking on its abdomen, while the brown recluse carries a tan violin-shaped marking.

Feeling is Believing

Although some spiders have up to 8 eyes, their eyesight is generally poor. Spiders `view' their environment mostly through vibrations they feel rather than sight. The way that their tiny hairs bend provides spiders with vital information. This "spidey" sense could signal that food is nearby, or it could warn of an approaching enemy. Another useful feature is their slit sensilla, a structure that detects external pressure changes in their surroundings. Some spiders also use the vibrations from their webs to tell them if they have caught food.

Web-builders and Wanderers

Spiders use many different methods for capturing their food. Often called the "architects of nature," web-building spiders trap their food in the intricate webs they build. Spiders that don't build webs are called wanderers and hunt their prey using other methods. One of the most ingenious wanderers, the trap-door spider, can carve a hole in the ground or an object and hide under a false surface until a victim approaches. Then it leaps out and catches its prey by surprise.

While wanderers don't build webs, they still spin silk. Spider silk starts out as a liquid produced by specialized glands. The liquid is released through spinnerets, small nozzles located on a spider's abdomen. A strand of spider silk is made up of hundreds of tiny threads wrapped together. Some spiders produce up to 6 different kinds of silk, each with a different use. Some silk is sticky, useful for catching insects, while others are stronger or more elastic. Spider silk can be stronger than a steel wire the same size. Besides weaving webs, spiders use silk to build nests, protect eggs, to travel, and to mark a path home.

Humans have also found many uses for spider silk. Because it is so thin, spider silk was once used for the crosshairs of microscopes and telescopes. Today, scientists are trying to replicate spider silk, but have not been able to produce it in large quantities. Because of its strength and elasticity, scientists think this silk could be useful in surgical sutures, artificial tendons, airplane wings, bulletproof clothing, bridge cables, and earthquake-proof buildings.

National Science Education Standards

Unifying Concepts and Processes

(K-8)

* Systems, order, and organization

* Evidence, models, and explanation

* Constancy, change, and measurement

* Evolution and equilibrium

* Form and function

Standard A: Science as Inquiry (K-8)

* Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry

* Understanding about scientific inquiry

Standard B: Physical Science

(K-4)

* Properties of objects and materials

* Position and motion of objects (5-8)

* Properties and changes of properties in matter

* Motions and forces

* Transfer of energy

Standard B: Life Science

(K-4)

* The characteristics of organisms

* Life cycle of organisms

* Organisms and environments (5-8)

* Structure and function in living systems

* Regulation and behavior

* Populations and ecosystems

* Diversity and adaptations of organisms

Standard E: Science and Technology (K-4)

* Abilities of technological design

* Understanding about science and technology

* Abilities to distinguish between natural objects and objects made by man (5-8)

* Abilities of technological design

* Understandings about science and technology

Standard F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives

(5-8)

* Natural hazards

* Risks and benefits

* Science and technology in society

Level Pre-A

Main Concepts: All spiders have 8 legs. Some spiders spin webs to trap food. Others go out and hunt for their food.

Picture Activity

Have your students count the spider's legs on the front page. Tell them that all spiders have 8 legs. Explain that the 2 small structures near the top of the spider's head are not extra little legs. (They are called pedipalps and are used like "feelers" and help it to eat.) Some spiders catch food in their sticky webs, while others hunt for it. The spider in the left circle is popping out of its "trap door" to catch an insect. Spiders live all over the world. Explain that spiders are not insects and do not have wings or antennae.

Vocabulary

Have your students draw straight lines between each capital letter and its matching lower case. The result will be a completed spider web.

Weekly Problem

Answers: 9, 7. A wolf spider mother can carry as many as 200 babies at one time.

Challenge

Tell your students that the threads of a spider web are very sticky. This is how insects get trapped in them. Have your students try to find the correct path for the spider to reach the fly that is trapped in the center.

Storytelling

Have everyone recite "Itsy-Bitsy Spider" together. Then encourage your students to use their imaginations and have them come up with their own Itsy Bitsy spider story. Have them choose something for their spider to climb and then have them tell a story about why the spider didn't make it. Have them illustrate their stories on a separate piece of paper.

Weekly Lab

You need: crayons, scissors, tape (or glue), a piece of yarn or string. This activity can be done as a whole class or individually. Have them cut out their spider's body and all 8 legs. Then have them match each leg to the right number and glue it in place. By matching the numbers and shapes exactly, they will be positioning the spider's legs in the right directions. Point out that a spider's legs are always attached to the upper part of its body (the cephalothorax). Next have them tape or glue their piece of string to the dotted line at the bottom of the spider. Explain that this is the spider's silk, which is used in making webs.

Level A

Main Concepts: All spiders make silk, but not all spiders make webs. Spiders use their silk in many ways.

Picture Activity

Have your students count the spider's legs. Explain that the 2 small structures near the top of the spider's head are not little legs. They are attached to the spider's mouth and help it to eat. (They are called pedipalps and are used like "feelers.") Ask why the spider at the left of the page is hiding under the trap. It is launching a surprise attack on its prey. These are known as trap-door spiders. What about the spider on the right side of the page? It has trapped an insect for dinner in its web. The spider on the bottom right is using its spider silk for traveling. Also explain that spiders are not insects and do not have wings or antennae.

Vocabulary

Have your students draw straight lines between the words and matching pictures. The result will be a completed spider web. Go over all the words together.

Weekly Problem

Answers: a) 7 red b) 8 brown c) 8 brown d) 9 yellow e) 9 yellow f) 10 green (the most) g) 7 red. This activity emphasizes number words. Have your students carefully count the babies on each spider.

Challenge

You need: balloons, rubber bands, tape, paper (black or brown construction paper will work best), string, marker. In this activity, they will be making balloon spiders. You may want to blow up the balloons and put the rubber bands on in advance. The rubber band goes on easily if the balloon is only partially inflated. This divides the `balloon spider' into 2 segments. Then have your students cut out 8 paper legs and tape them to their spiders' bodies. Explain that a spider's legs are always attached to the front part of its body (the cephalothorax). Next, have them draw 8 eyes on their spiders' heads with markers. Finally, have them tie some string to the end of their balloons to represent the spiders' silk.

Writing For Science

Have your students make-up their own Itsy Bitsy spider story. Encourage them to use their imaginations. Have them choose something for their spider to climb and then have them write about why their spider didn't make it. Have them illustrate their stories on a separate piece of paper.

Weekly Lab

You need: crayons, scissors, tape (or glue), a piece of yarn or string. This activity can be done as a whole class or individually. Have them cut out their spider's body and all 8 legs. Then have them match each leg to the right number and glue it in place. By matching the numbers and shapes exactly, they will be positioning the spider's legs in the right directions. Point out that a spider's legs are always attached to the upper part of its body. Next have them tape or glue their piece of string to the dotted line at the bottom of the spider. Explain that this is the spider's silk which is used in making webs.

Level B

Main Concepts: Spiders have 8 legs and 2 body parts. All spiders make silk, but only some spin webs.

Vocabulary

Answers: wet [right arrow] ten [right arrow] well [right arrow] bed [right arrow] met [right arrow] send [right arrow] when [right arrow] hen [right arrow] red [right arrow] hem [right arrow] mend [right arrow] tent [right arrow] gem [right arrow] leg [right arrow] web.

Weekly Lab

You need: balloons, rubber bands, tape, paper (black or brown construction paper will work best), string, marker. Your students will be making balloon spiders. You may want to blow up the balloons and put the rubber bands on in advance. The rubber band goes on easily if the balloon is only partially inflated. This divides the `balloon spider' into 2 segments. Then have your students cut out 8 paper legs and tape them to their spiders' bodies. Explain that a spider's legs are always attached to the front part of its body (the cephalothorax). Next, have them draw 8 eyes on their spiders' heads with markers. Finally, have them tie some string to the end of their balloons to represent the spiders' silk.

Weekly Problem

Answers: LEFT side: 16, 20, 13, 17 RIGHT side: 18, 15, 11, 19.

Writing For Science

Encourage your students to use their imaginations and think of an idea for something new that uses super strong spider silk. After your students have written about their inventions, tell them that scientists are trying to learn how to make large amounts of spider silk. It is believed that spider silk could be used to make airplane wings, bulletproof vests, surgical threads, and cables for bridges.

Challenge

Have them draw lines to match the spiders and their webs. Answers: 1 -- E trap-door spider, 2 -- D funnel web spider, 3 -- B hammock spider, 4 -- A orb weaver spider, 5 -- C purse web spider.

Home Base

They will be conducting a survey about people's opinions of spiders and compiling the answers on a chart. They can ask friends or family members. Ask them to think about the people they will talk to in their survey. Encourage them to ask a variety of people, both adults and children, boys and girls, and women and men. Discuss why it is important to ask a variety of people their opinions when conducting a survey.

Level C

Main Concepts: Spiders have a 2-section body with a hard outer covering and 8 legs. All spiders make silk, but not all spiders spin webs.

Vocabulary

Answers: slide [right arrow] line [right arrow] wipe [right arrow] vine [right arrow] bite [right arrow] size [right arrow] stripe [right arrow] write [right arrow] kite [right arrow] pride [right arrow] white [right arrow] wide [right arrow] tide [right arrow] slime [right arrow] spider.

Weekly Lab

In this lab your students will be creating their own trap-door spiders. Begin the activity by explaining that trap-door spiders hunt by feeling vibrations on the silk of their trap doors. When food approaches, they leap out very quickly to capture their prey. To make their spiders, they will first trace the hole of a toilet paper tube onto a sheet of paper. Have them cut out the traced circle and tape one side to the tube. Next they will cut out the circle with a picture of a spider on it and punch out the hole. (They should place a hole reinforcer on the circle if available.) Then have them tie one end of a cut-open rubber band through the hole in the spider circle. Next they will tie one end of a piece of string through the same hole. Finally, they will tape the loose end of the string to the outside of the tube and tuck their `spider' inside the tube, leaving the end of the rubber band hanging down. To try out their new creation, they should close the `trap door,' hold out their tubes, pull down on their rubber bands and quickly let go! Remind them to hold their "trap door" tubes with their arms outstretched and away from their bodies.

Weekly Problem

Answer: a black widow spider with its distinctive reddish hourglass shape on its abdomen. Before beginning this activity, review even and odd numbers. For best contrast, tell them to color in each space completely and darkly. Explain that in the U.S., there are only 2 spiders that are poisonous to humans - the black widow and the brown recluse (which has a tan violin-shaped marking). While South American tarantulas can also be poisonous to humans, the venom of tarantulas found the U.S. is no more poisonous than the sting of a bee. Encourage your students to do further research about the black widow and other spiders.

Writing For Science

Encourage your students to use their imaginations and think of an idea for something new that uses super strong spider silk. After your students have written about their inventions, tell them that scientists are trying to learn how to make large amounts of spider silk. It is believed that spider silk could be used to make airplane wings, bulletproof vests, surgical threads, and cables for bridges.

Challenge

In this activity your students will be conducting a survey about people's opinions of spiders and compiling their answers on a chart. They can ask friends or family members. Ask them to think about the people they will talk to in their survey. Encourage them to ask a variety of people, both adults and children, boys and girls, and women and men. Discuss why it is important to ask a variety of people their opinions when conducting a survey.

Puzzle

Have them draw lines to match the spiders and their webs. Answers: 1 -- E trap-door spider, 2 -- D funnel web spider, 3 -- B hammock spider, 4 -- A orb weaver spider, 5 -- C purse web spider.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Level D

Main Concepts: Spiders have a hard, 2-section outer body, and 8 legs. All spiders make silk, but not all spiders spin webs.

Vocabulary

Answers: pan [right arrow] trap [right arrow] cast [right arrow] tramp [right arrow] nap [right arrow] sand [right arrow] ramp [right arrow] wag [right arrow] jams [right arrow] stamp [right arrow] slam [right arrow] splat [right arrow] brass [right arrow] ram [right arrow] pass [right arrow] arachnid.

Weekly Lab

In this lab your students will be making their own trap-door spiders. Begin the activity by explaining that trap-door spiders hunt by feeling vibrations on the silk of their trap doors. When food approaches, they leap out very quickly to capture their prey. To make their spiders, they will first trace the hole of a toilet paper tube onto a sheet of paper. Have them cut out the traced circle and tape one side to the tube. Next they will cut out the circle with a picture of a spider on it and punch out the hole. (They should place a hole reinforcer on the circle if available.) Then have them tie one end of a cut-open rubber band through the hole in the spider circle. Next they will tie one end of a piece of string through the same hole. Finally, they will tape the loose end of the string to the outside of the tube and tuck their `spider' inside the tube, leaving the end of the rubber band hanging down. To try out their new creation, they should close the `trap door,' hold out their tubes, pull down on their rubber bands and quickly let go!

Remind them to hold their "trap door" tubes with their arms outstretched and away from their bodies.

Weekly Problem

Answer: a black widow spider with its distinctive reddish hourglass shape on its abdomen. Before beginning this activity, review even and odd numbers. For best contrast, tell them to color in each space completely and darkly. Explain that in the U.S., there are only 2 spiders that are poisonous to humans - the black widow and the brown recluse (which has a tan violin-shaped marking). While South American tarantulas can also be poisonous to humans, the venom of tarantulas found the U.S. is no more poisonous than the sting of a bee. Encourage your students to do further research about the black widow spider and other arachnids.

Writing For Science

Encourage your students to use their imaginations and think of an idea for something new that uses super strong spider silk. After your students have written about their inventions, tell them that scientists are trying to learn how to make large amounts of spider silk. It is believed that spider silk could be used to make airplane wings, bulletproof vests, surgical threads, and cables for bridges.

Challenge

Answers: Spiders - A, C, F Insects - B, D, G Both - E, H. (Many insects feed on other insects.)

Puzzle

Have them draw lines to match the spiders and their webs. Answers: 1 -- E trap-door spider, 2 -- D funnel web spider, 3 -- B hammock spider, 4 -- A orb weaver spider, 5 -- C purse web spider, 6 -- F crab spider.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Level E

Main Concepts: sense their environment through vibrations and special structures called slit sensilla. All spiders make silk, but not all spiders spin webs.

Vocabulary

Answers: twig [right arrow] risk [right arrow] brim [right arrow] thrill [right arrow] twitch [right arrow] gym [right arrow] strip [right arrow] thin [right arrow] lift [right arrow] spill [right arrow] missed [right arrow] thick [right arrow] squid [right arrow] twin [right arrow] shift [right arrow] arachnid.

Weekly Lab

In this lab your students will be making their own trap-door spiders. Begin the activity by explaining that trap-door spiders hunt by feeling vibrations on the silk of their trap doors. When food approaches, they leap out very quickly to capture their prey. To make their spiders, each student will first trace the hole of a toilet paper tube onto a sheet of paper. Have them cut out the traced circle and tape one side to the tube. Next they will cut out the circle with a picture of a spider on it and punch out the hole. (They should place a hole reinforcer on the circle if available.) Then have them tie one end of a cut-open rubber band through the hole in the spider circle, and tie one end of a piece of string through the same hole. Next, they will tape the loose end of the string to the outside of the tube and tuck their `spider' inside the tube, leaving the end of the rubber band hanging down. Then, they will close their trap door. When this is done, have them trace the end of the toilet paper tube onto a piece of cardboard, cut out the hole, and decorate the cardboard to look like ground outside. Finally, they will tape the cardboard to their desks, leaving the area under the hole open. To try out their new creation, they should position their tubes under the hole of their cardboard `ground.' Then have them pull down on their rubber bands and quickly let go!

Remind them to hold their "trap door" tubes with their arms outstretched and away from their bodies.

Weekly Problem

Answer: a black widow spider with its distinctive reddish hourglass shape on its abdomen. Before beginning this activity, review even and odd numbers. For best contrast, tell them to color in each space completely and darkly. Explain that in the U.S., there are only 2 spiders that are poisonous to humans - the black widow and the brown recluse (which has a tan violin-shaped marking). While South American tarantulas can also be poisonous to humans, the venom of tarantulas found the U.S. is no more poisonous than the sting of a bee. Encourage your students to do further research about the black widow spider and other arachnids. See TN Level D - WEEKLY PROBLEM.

Writing For Science

Have your students imagine what it would be like to be a science writer who has discovered that 3 pages are missing in a spider book they have written - and the book is due at their publisher! With a tight deadline, they must write new material for the missing pages. They can choose any 3 spiders to research from the ones listed. Encourage them to find interesting facts and information about the spiders they have chosen. Before beginning this activity, you may want to bring in a variety of spider books to class, so your students can have resources on hand - or - have them go to the library to complete their research - or - use the Internet (see Internet Resources on the back page).

Challenge

Answers: Spiders - A, C, F Insects - B, D, G Both - E, H (Many insects feed off of other insects.)

Puzzle

Answers: A) spider B) insect C) mite D) scorpion E) tarantula Bonus: daddy longlegs. Harvestmen are often mistaken for spiders. Unlike spiders, the 2 body parts (cephalothorax and abdomen) are fused in one.

Level F

Main Concept: Spiders sense their environment through vibrations and special structures called slit sensilla. All spiders make silk, but not all spiders spin webs. Scientists believe spider silk can be used for many applications including airplane wings and bridge cables, due to its strength.

Weekly Lab

This lab will help your students understand the importance of a spider's sensitivity to the vibrations it feels in its web. These vibrations provide the spider with vital information about its environment. Pairs of students will be suspending a paper cup with pieces of string to simulate their webs. They will take turns closing their eyes and guessing what is in their cup simply from the vibrations they feel on the string. Different objects of different weights will be placed in the cup separately by their partners. These objects represent the wind, food, and a predator. They will see how well they would be able to survive as a spider using only `spider sense' to determine what is in their "web." Their partner will put the objects into the cup in random order, and the "spider" must guess whether it is the wind, food, or predator. Their partner will fill in the chart with how many correct and incorrect guesses are made. Have them repeat this until every object is tried 4 times. Then have them switch places with their partners. After the activity is completed, have your students look at their charts and calculate the percent of correct answers they made. (To do this, they should divide the correct number of answers by 12, which is the number of total attempts, then multiply by 100.)

Note: A variety of objects may be used for this lab, e.g. various numbers of metal washers or coins taped together could be used to represent the 3 different weights. It is important that the 3 objects have a distinctive weight difference. (To increase the difficulty of this activity, use objects that are closer in weight.)

Weekly Problem

Answer: See TN Level E - WEEKLY PROBLEM.

Writing for Science

Have your students imagine what it would be like to be a science writer who has discovered that 3 pages are missing in a spider book they have written - and the book is due at their publisher! With a tight deadline, they must write new material for the missing pages. They can choose any 3 spiders to research from the ones listed. Encourage them to find interesting facts and information about the spiders they have chosen. Before beginning this activity, you may want to bring in a variety of spider books to class, so your students can have resources on hand - or - have them go to the library to complete their research - or - use the Internet (see Internet Resources on the back page).

Challenge

Answers: A) spider B) insect C) mite D) scorpion E) tarantula Bonus: daddy longlegs. Harvestmen are often mistaken for spiders. Unlike spiders, the 2 body parts (cephalothorax and abdomen) are fused in one.

Puzzle

Answers: twig [right arrow] risk [right arrow] brim [right arrow] thrill [right arrow] twitch gym [right arrow] strip [right arrow] thin lift [right arrow] spill [right arrow] missed thick [right arrow] squid [right arrow] twin [right arrow] shift [right arrow] arachnid.

Weekly RESOURCES

Helpful Sources for Planning Your Science Weekly Classroom Activities

Recommended Resources

* Bender, Lionel. Spiders. New York: Gloucester Press, 1988

* Facklam, Margery. Spiders and Their Web Sites Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 2001

* Julivert, Maria. The Fascinating World of Spiders. New York: Barron's Educational Series, Inc., 1992

* Llewellyn, Claire. I Didn't Know that Spiders Have Fangs. Brookfield, CT: Copper Beech Books, 1997

* Lovett, Sara. Extremely Weird Spiders. Santa Fe, NM: John Muir Publishers, 1993

* Milne, Lorus and Margery. Insects and Spiders. New York: Doubleday Publishing, 1992

* Nathan, Emma. What Do You Call A Baby Scorpion? And Other Baby Spiders and Insects. Woodbridge, CT: Blackbirch Press, Inc. 1999

* VanCleave, Janice. Insects and Spiders. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1998

Internet Resources

From Education World -- SEARCH: Spiders -- http://www.educationworld.com/

Discovery Channel -- http://www.discovery.com/exp/spiders/spiders.html

Discovery Channel Spiders LINKS PAGE - http://www.discovery.com /exp/spiders/weblinks.html

Trap-door Spiders -- University of California at Berkeley -- http: //elib.cs.berkeley.edu:80/cgi/ img_query?special=browse&where=cllectn=CalAdemy&where-ph_cname=Trap-door+ Spider

Spiders Kids page -- with lots of -- http://homepage.powerup.com.au/~glen/spiders1b.htm

Southwest Education Development Laboratory -- http: //www.sedl.org/scimath/pasopartners/spiders/welcome.html

Spider Glider from the Science Museum of Minnesota -- http: //www.sci.mus.mn.us/sln/tf/s/spiderglider/spiderglider.html

Materials Needed for issue 9 - Living on Mars

Pre-A, A -- scissors, tape or glue, frosting containers with lids, any type of small balls (foam, ping-pong, balled-up paper)

B -- scissors, tape or glue, frosting containers with lids, any type of small balls (foam, ping-pong, balled-up paper), colored pencils, markers, or crayons

C -- scissors, tape or glue, frosting containers with lids, any type of small balls (foam, ping-pong, balled-up paper)

D, E -- modeling clay, rulers, string or yarn, scissors, cardboard, globes

F -- rectangular pans, flour, cocoa or tempera paint, sieves, a variety of small balls, irregular-shaped rocks, rulers, globes
COPYRIGHT 2001 Science Weekly, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Science Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 14, 2001
Words:6434
Previous Article:Seeds.
Next Article:Australia's animals.
Topics:


Related Articles
Spider Solidarity Forever.
Spiders.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters