OK I have to admit it right away spiders freak me out! I mean, if a huge spider lands on me, or even appears close by, I am not a happy camper. However, having said that, I think spiders can be beautiful and I certainly recognize how important they are to eco-systems.
So, since I am in the business of educating kids about the environment, I make a point of bringing up some of the critters that aren’t necessarily on everyone’s A-list! I tell the story of how Grandmother Spider Stole the Sun!
For which there is a great lesson plan here:
Kids who heard this story from me twenty years ago still remember it!
Spiders are phenomenal creatures and here are some quick facts:
· Spiders are not insects, they are Arachnids – they have two body parts – the abdomen and the thorax; they have eight legs.
· Spiders lay eggs
· Spiders spin silk from a glands called spinnerets located at the tip of their abdomen;
· Spiders eat many kinds of insects so it is good to have them in your garden!
· Male spiders are usually smaller than female spiders and some females eat the males after mating!
· There are more than 30,000 species of spider!
You don’t have to love spiders, but it is good to teach kids why they are important and the role that they play in ecosystems. I always say, imagine a workd without spiders – there would be SO MANY flies!! There would!
I have posted my song: Grandmother Spider on my Myspace page with the lyrics, so try it out, it’s fun! http://www.myspace.com/iirainbowdolphin
Here is a cool website about spiders:
If you want to see a really big spider, check out these photos of Camel Spiders!
Remember, We’re All Interconnected, and spiders along with every other species, have a part to play in the incredible web of life!
Have fun discovering spiders!
For the earth!