In October we focused on spiders. We did some awesome activities. We got some cool books from the library, and read a story called Spiders at Work by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith in our readers. We also went to some awesome websites! You'll have a great time checking these out! We want to share what we learned with you!

Some people confuse spiders with insects. An insect's body has three parts: the head, thorax, and abdomen. A spider's body has only two parts: a combined head and thorax region called the cephalothorax and an abdomen. Spiders are called Arachnids. Did you know that a spider has eight eyes?

There are basically two kinds of spiders. The wandering spiders and web builders. Wandering spiders go and find their prey. If the wandering spider sees a hummingbird, it tries to catch it. Usually, the hummingbird will fly away first! Wandering spiders have better eye sight than web builders. The wandering spider has sharper fangs than web builders. They often eat insects. An example of a wandering spider is the tarantula. We learned all about this spider from the story we read in our reading class. The hairs on the tarantula's body help it defend itself. When in danger, the tarantula drops some of its hairs. Each hair has tiny barbs at the end. Each barb is as sharp as a fish hook and can hurt the skin and eyes of the enemy. These hairs also pose as the spider's greatest threat to humans because they can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Although tarantulas have eight eyes, they can't see very well. No person has ever died of a tarantula bite. Tarantulas have very strong jaws. Tarantulas do not spin webs, they live in holes in the ground.

There are many different kinds of web builders. They use silk to build shelters, catch prey, and move from place to place. you can tell by the shape of the web what kind of spider built it. An orb weaver makes a circled shaped web. A funnel weaver builds its web in the grass that is like a funnel. Purse web spiders build tubes for webs. Sometimes they build their webs alongside tree trunks. Triangle spiders have to weave their webs like triangles. A net thrower throws its web at its prey. The water spider builds an underwater web. A good example of a web builder is the black widow spider. It is a cobweb weaver. The black widow has a very poisonous bite. The female black widow kills its mate. She kills him and eats him. The black widow has a shiny body and a red or yellow spot on its back that looks like an hourglass. The tips of the spider's legs are oily. This oil keeps them from getting trapped in their own webs. Did you know that the black widow's venom is 15 times as poisonous as a rattlesnake? The black widow's bite can cause death!

Long ago people had mixed feelings about the spider. Sometimes they were afraid, sometimes they were not afraid. They were always mixed! To make themselves feel better, they made up myths and legends about them.

We read an African story called A Story A Story by Gail E. Haley. In this story we learned that many African stories are called "Spider Stories." Spider stories tell how small defenseless men or animals outwit others. In this story, Anansi, the spider man, wanted to buy all of the Sky God's stories. Read this story to find out what Anansi had to do to earn the stories. You'll love it and will want to share it with a friend!

We also made up some funny spider songs. We brainstormed trying to remember some tunes we were all familiar with and used them and put in different words. Care to sing along?


We also made webs with yarn, glue and a piece of black paper. We drew a web and traced it with a piece of yarn. We glued them on and that was how we made them.



Mcgraw-Hill Reading Series

A Story A Story by Gail E. Haley

Spiders by Timothy L. Biel

Spiders by Jane Dallinger

Spiders by Jenny Tesar