Cultivate Wonder

Exploring Science with Children

Spiders are *not* Insects!

Spiders have eight legs. Insects have six.  Spiders are *not* insects. This is one of a variety of things we learned during our spider-themed Wonderworks.

We opened this storytime with a funny, yet educational, YouTube video from Sesame Street, which features actor Jim Parsons and a large spider-shaped muppet, both trying to explain the definition of “arachnid.”

Our nonfiction book selection was Spiders Are Not Insects, by Allan Fowler.  This Rookie Read-About Science book uses color photos and simple text to teach facts about spiders and to illustrate the differences between spiders and insects.  It also shows several popular varieties of spiders – large and small, poisonous and non-poisonous.  Although physically small, this book series rarely fails to keep the children interested and engaged.

spiders are not

After our book, we acted out the rhyme, Little  Miss Muffet a few times, hooking our thumbs together and wiggling our eight fingers around to make our spiders. We also discussed how spiders were not insects but rather arachnids.  To help us remember the word “arachnid,” we clapped out the each of the three syllables as pronounced it.

RhymeLittle Miss Muffet

Little Miss Muffet

Sat on a tuffet

Eating her curds and whey

Along came a spider

Who sat down beside her

And frightened Miss Muffet away!

After our rhyme, we read the picture book Aaaarrgghh! Spider!, by Lydia Monks, a fun story about a spider who wants to be a family pet.

aaarrg spider

Next, we sang Sharon, Lois, and Bram’s song, The Eensy Weensy Spider from their Great Big Hits cd.

For our activities, we made paper plate spider webs and Styrofoam egg carton spiders with eight little pipe cleaner legs.


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