Hey, Little Spider

After reading the classic Hey, Little Ant by Phillip and Hannah Hoose aloud, two of our first-grade classes decided to set up a Project-Based Learning (PBL) pilot; they'd substitute the word ant with spider and answer the question about whether or not to squish, not based on their feelings, but based on their research.  With an essential question that goes something like this - Are spiders our friends? - students went to work.  First up, find some spiders, so off they went on a spider hunt.  The field trip to our nature center didn't prove too fruitful, so several students brought in spiders that they'd found at home.  The class families set up small aquariums so that they could watch, study and learn.  And learn they did.  What species was the spider?  What does it need in its habitat?  
What's its prey and to what is it a predator?  
And then, something unexpected happened . . .  this class spider laid an 
egg sack, right before their eyes. 
Talk about your authentic learning. 

It looks especially cool under the Elmo and through the digital microscopes!  More research told them that this wolf spider wouldn't leave its egg (in part because it's attached to her!) until the one-hundred-plus little spiders were safely released into the world.  But would she eat her young?  No, not this variety, but were she a black widow, she'd eat the male!

 So they're charting their findings as they find stuff out, making a paper chain to show what spiders eat and what eats them, and watching their spider as she tends to her egg. And what conclusion has their research led them to? Are spiders our friends or should we squish them?  Well, little friend, they haven't decided yet.  But I think I have a good guess (aka hypothesis) what they'll decide now that we're adoptive parents!

Can you find her in this picture?

1 comment

  1. How cool is that? And what a great way to get over spider fear.
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers


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