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Ministry of Education.

Learning task 2

Oral anecdotes - personal "spider" experiences

In pairs, students discuss their experiences with spiders. Share with another group. Encourage active listening and questioning.

Role play. Students act out some of their spider experiences/feelings. Talk about what to look for when someone is scared eg How do they stand? How do they breathe? What do their eyes look like?

Construct two graphs to depict students' ideas and feelings toward spiders before and again at the end of the unit. Discuss why some people are afraid of spiders.

Spiders and insects

As a class discuss:

  • What is the difference between an insect and a spider?
  • What do we know about spiders?
  • What do we want to find out about spiders?
  • Where would we find spiders?

 Chart responses, eg.

  • What do spiders need to spin a web?
  • How do spiders spin a web?
  • What do spiders eat?
  • Where do spiders get food?
  • How do spiders get food?
  • Do other animals eat spiders?
  • Are spiders themselves food?
  • How do spiders hide from their enemies and not get eaten?
  • What colour are spiders? Are all spiders brown? Black? Red?

Facts about spiders:

Spider Facts

Assessment Resource Bank activities

Features of insects and spiders
Students match features to spiders or insects.

Life cycle

Read and discuss the life cycle of a spider.

Close reading/Shared reading

Use models of explanation (see  The Best Nest and  Why Does Earth Need the Atmosphere?) writing to share with the class. Read the explanation with the students. Talk about the explanation - How do we know this is an explanation? What impact does the explanation have on us as the readers? How would the author have gathered this information?

  1. Discuss and identify which explanations are about the "why" and which are about the "how". Talk about what it is in a sentence that tells us about these differences.
  2. Identify action verbs and discuss their functions in organising explanations. Action verbs can be identified and discussed in terms of their function as part of a
  3. sequence of processes that explains how things happen or work, or which explain why one action causes another action.
  4. Discuss use of conjunctions to link groups of processes, eg. first, next, then, when, because, so that, therefore. See Exploring Language - Complex Sentences.
  5. Continue, each day, to read about spiders and gather information about spiders.
  6. Discuss and list facts about spiders found in the reading. Record on large chart.
    • How are spiders special? (Arachnids)
    • What can we say about them?
    • How could we observe spiders?
    • Discuss how we could safely (for the spider) set up a vivarium?

Assessment Resource Bank activity

Features of a spider

Published on: 26 May 2009