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Daily Classroom Special: Homemade Spider Webs
About this Daily Classroom Special: 
Science to Go
provides easy yet meaningful science activities for grades k-8. Science to Go was written by Barbara Smith, Magnet Coordinator at Harvard Elementary, Houston (TX) and former Teachers Network web mentor.

Homemade Spider Webs

Objectives

Compare and contrast
Follow directions
Use research skills

Materials

Two meters crochet or kite string per student, waxed paper, glue, research resources about spiders (books, encyclopedias, Internet, field observations), pencil.

Procedure

Have students research the different types of webs made by different spider species. Do all spiders make webs? What are the different types of webs? How many species of spiders are there? What do they eat? Which ones are found in your local area?

Distribute Materials, and Make Webs

  1. For 2-dimensional webs (orbs and ladders), outline web on waxed paper with pencil. For 3-dimensional webs, use objects to lay the string upon, such as a funnel for funnel and trap door webs.
  2. Dip string into glue/water mixture (50/50) and lay it over outlines, making sure strings cross or touch each other.
  3. Let dry overnight. (Draglines, one type of "fishing line" for spiders, can be demonstrated before the glue dries!)
  4. Gently peel web off form or paper.
  5. Label your web type and hang them in the classroom for an interesting display!

Discuss how features of different types of webs allow spiders to occupy different niches in ecosystems.

Website Picks

Discovery Online: Spiders
Interesting facts and statistics about spiders, interactive applet that labels parts of a spider, simple classification guide, Australian species project, RealAudio recording.

Ohio State University Extension Factsheet "Spiders In and Around the House"
Gives good descriptors of classifications with scientific names, and simple graphics. Good for upper elementary and older.

The Ask Science Theatre Archive
Michigan State University student volunteers answer readers' science questions and post answers. Submit your own questions, or read previous explanations.

About the Graphics

Spider graphics on this page are from Ohioline. Ohioline is a resource production of the Section of Communications and Technology in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

 

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