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Where the Spiders Live


Science, Social Studies  


4, 5  

Title – Where the Spiders Live
By – Jennifer Dalke
Subject – Science, Social Studies
Grade Level – 4-5

Unit contents:

Illinois State Goals: 17. Understand world geography and the effects of geography on society

Instructional Objective:
Students will do research to find out where tarantulas live in the United States. As a class, they will fill out a large wall map to show where the tarantulas live.

* reference books
* large black and white wall map of the United States
* red and yellow markers

Anticipatory Set:
* I will begin the lesson by putting up a transparency of a large tarantula on the overhead. I will ask the students if they know what kind of spider this is. Have you ever seen one before? Do you have these spiders in your houses?
* I will explain that this is a tarantula, and these spiders do not live in areas like Chicago. I will ask them where they think they might live. I will tell them that today we will find out what areas these spiders live in.

1. I will point out a large wall map of the United States that will be posted at the front of the room. I will explain to students that we will be coloring in the states that we find to be homes to tarantulas.
2. I will assign each child two states. I will tell them that it is their job to find out whether or not tarantulas live in each state.
3. I will hand out reference books. I will put red and yellow markers on a table next to the map and tell the children that once they find out about their states, they should come up to the map and color in their state appropriately. If your state is home to tarantulas, color it red. If it is not, then color it yellow.
4. I will let the children do their research, and help them as they come up to color in their states. Some children might have trouble finding their states on the map, so I will monitor the map to be sure the children are finding them and coloring in the correct states.
5. I will instruct the students that finish early to research any remaining states.

Cassie (LD)- Cassie will be assigned only one state. I will give her a reference book that is already marked to make it easier for her to find out the information.

* When all the states have been colored in appropriately, we will discuss where the tarantulas live. I will ask the students why they think tarantulas live in certain states. What kind of weather does it seem that tarantulas like? Are there any similarities between the states that tarantulas live in?
* I will close the lesson by explaining that tarantulas prefer a warm climate without too much rain. This is why we do not find tarantulas in Chicago.

Students will be evaluated on their participation. They should each have researched at least two states (except Cassie), and they should have determined whether or not those states were homes to tarantulas.

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