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A Spider’s Venom

Subject:

Science  

Grades:

4, 5  

Title – A Spider’s Venom
By – Jennifer Dalke
Subject – Science
Grade Level – 4-5

Unit contents:

Illinois State Goals: 11. Understand the processes of scientific inquiry and technological design to investigate questions, conduct experiments and solve problems
12. Understand the fundamental concepts, principles and interconnections of the life, physical and earth/space sciences

Instructional Objective:
Students will conduct an experiment to solve a problem

Supplies:
* Styrofoam cups
* sugar cubes
* warm water

Anticipatory Set:
* I will ask students to raise their hands if they’ve ever been bitten by a spider. When? How? What happened?
* I will ask the students if they know what happens when a spider bites its victim.

Activities:
1. I will explain to students that spiders use venom on their prey.
2. I will tell the children that they will be performing an experiment that simulates the effect of a spider’s venom on its prey.
3. Students will be broken up into groups of four. I will pass out a Styrofoam cup with several sugar cubes in the bottom to each group. I will explain that the cubes are like the inside of an insect’s body–HARD!
4. I will pass out small cups of water and instruct the students to pour a few drops of water onto the cubes. What happens? I will explain that the water dissolves the sugar cubes just as the spider’s venom dissolves the insect’s body when the spider spreads venom into the insect’s body. Because a spider can turn its food to liquid, it can eat without chewing!
5. I will ask the children to clean up their supplies by throwing them in the garbage.

Adaptations:
Cassie (LD)- Cassie will be able to participate with the rest of the students.

Closure:
* I will ask the students why they think spiders do this. I will explain the process of spiders’ predigestion that takes place, and how they liquefy the tissues of their prey.
* I will close up the lesson by asking the children how they think our diet might change if we didn’t have teeth.

Evaluation:
Students will be evaluated on their participation in the lesson and the experiment. They will be evaluated on how well they followed directions and how they behaved in their groups.

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