Sunday, October 23, 2011


October is such a fun month for me!  I decorate my classroom with some spider lights and eyeball lights and some Halloween decor!  It's fun for the kids, they love the lights and how cool they look in the dark!  Also October I do a unit on spiders!  I check out tons of spider books from school libraries around our district and have them on hand for kiddos to look at.  They LOVE the books.  I really like to focus on real spiders and spiders that are drawn and made correctly.  We work on the correct body parts, different kind of webs,  the life cycle and look at spider facts.

A really cool thing happened right at the beginning of this unit--I caught a real spider in my back yard!  Ok ok...I usually try to catch one as a "class pet" for Oct.  but they either don't survive or escape!! EEEKK!  But this year turned out to be really cool--I caught a Cat-Faced spider!

Because she was SO cool looking I showed her off to my staff and the kids were just thrilled to look at her.  One of my staff members said she looked pregnant....I was like no, she's just a big spider--Well, one morning I came in and looked at her and there's this HUGE egg sac in the corner of the container!!!!!  She. Was. a mama!!!!!  and she shrunk down A LOT (lost all her baby weight overnight)  :)  So now I am trying to care for a mama spider and her egg sac!  My kiddos want to see it "hatch" could I say "no" to watching a life cycle happen right in our room!  So we'll see what happens--not even sure when they will hatch!

 Here are some of the things we have done:

Drawings of the life cycle

Life cycle

Different kinds of webs


more webs

This is an "Art Friday" activity.  We do art on Fridays and some days it's really fun!  It's cooked spaghetti and elmer's glue--I put it in a ziploc baggie and get it all mixed together.  Then they make an orb web on wax paper. They really need to make the criss crosses and overlap the ends of the circles so they stay attached.  I let them dry until Sunday and then pull them off carefully.  

Here is what they look like after I peel them off the wax paper and then I hang them from our ceiling.  They love looking at them and finding their web!  I had some of the best webs this year!  Not too many pieces broke off!

This is in our hallway outside our room for the month of Oct.
This was one of our 1st Art Fridays--It's a 3-D spider but you can't tell from the pics--I really work on making sure they have the 8 legs attached to the cephalothorax (I make them use that word a lot) :) 

One of our first activities--They are to draw a spider and label the correct parts.  I made label for them on the small return address labels so they just need to peel, stick and draw an arrow--it was too hard for them to write all the words and put them small enough so they weren't all over the page. 

I love how creative they try to get with the types of spiders they draw.  They love to look at books and "copy" a spider's colors and markings.

Here's the head of one and a close of the labels

A close up of the abdomen and labels.  

We do our final week of activities next week and will do an edible art project next Friday which I hope to take pictures of.  They love the edible art days :)  We'll also do some fact finding in books--their first activity with finding research.  


Erika said...

Love these ideas! I am doing spiders this week.

2B Honey Bunch

Erika said...

Forgot, I don't think the egg sac will "hatch" until spring.

2B Honey Bunch

Ali said...

I give you so much credit!! I got chills just reading your post! I can't stand spiders....I'm glad they aren't in our second grade curriculum....we do butterflies in the spring for life cycle. That I can handle :)


Tiggeriffic 2nd Graders said...

Yea, Erika, I think you're right but the kiddos are excited to see what happens, so it may just sit in a jar til then :)

Ali-Spiders aren't technically in our curriculum, I just like to do them b/c they are cool and the kids get into them. It's a fun science unit that I just can't give up :)

Sue Cahalane said...

Hi! I LOVE these spaghetti webs & can't wait to do with my kids!! Just found your blog, I'm your newest follower!
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