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Parts of a Spider





Title – Parts of a Spider
By – Nancy Hagerty
Primary Subject – Science
Grade Level – 1


Biological Concepts:

  1. All spiders have a definite structure.
  2. Spiders look different depending upon their habitat.

Michigan Goals and Objectives:

  1. Students will classify spiders according to observable attributes.
  2. Students will be able to explain how physical characteristics of a spider will help it to survive in its environment.


  • (1) 2 inch styrofoam ball for each student
  • (1) 3 inch styrofoam ball for each student
  • Assorted pipe cleaners cut in half (4 per child)
  •  Assorted wiggly eyes
  •  Toothpicks
  •  Glue
  •  Photographs of spiders (real spiders may be used)

5 minutes:

Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey.
Along came a spider and sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away!

  1. How many of you are afraid of spiders?
  2. Why do you suppose we are afraid of spiders?

Describing / Summarizing:

You know lots of facts about spiders! Let’s make a chart of the things we have been talking about.

The teacher will begin a “web” of students’ prior knowledge as information is given.

10 minutes

Students will be given photographs of spiders.

Organization / Observation:

They will observe and sort the photographs into classifications of their choice.

When the students have finished, we will discuss the reasons students classified the spiders the way that they did.

5 minutes

Contrasting / Comparing:

The students will look at their classification data and determine:

  • What is the same about each spider?
  • What is different?
  • What prediction can we make about the physical characteristics (how they look) of all spiders?
  • How could we prove our prediction?

That’s exactly what scientists do to prove their hypothesis.

15 minutes


Now that you know the basic structure of a spider, I want you each to construct your own spider.

What do all spiders have?

  • 2 body parts
  • 8 legs
  • Several eyes

Who can remember which body part the legs come from?


Here are the materials for you to make your own spiders. You may use the toothpicks to fasten the 2 body parts together.

Evaluating / Designing Model:

Students will use the information they have gathered about spiders to create one of their own.

5 minutes


  • Do each of your spiders look the same?
  • Do each of them have the correct body structure?
  • Look at your spider and decide what would be an appropriate habitat for it and why.
  • Why are spiders important to our environment?


The Education Center, Inc. The Best of Mailbox. Science Made Simple- Grades 1-3. Pp.28-30. 1997.
Gibbons, Gail. Spiders. New York: Holiday House 1993.
Morris, Dean. Spiders. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: MacDonald Raintree, Inc. 1977.

E-Mail Nancy Hagerty!

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