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Spiders and Scientific Theory

Subject:

Science  

Grade:

2  

Title – Spiders and Scientific Theory
By – Nancy Hagerty
Primary Subject – Science
Grade Level – 2

 

Biological Concepts:

  1. A spider’s structure serves a definite purpose.
  2. Spiders look different depending upon their habitat.

Michigan Goals and Objectives:

  1. Students will compare and classify spiders according to observable characteristics.
  2. Students will be able to explain how physical and behavioral characteristics of a spider will help it to survive in its environment.
  3. Students will describe the basic requirements for spiders to maintain their existence.
  4. Students will compare/contrast food, energy and environmental needs of similar spiders.

Materials:

  • Spider Fact Sheet for each student
  • Posterboard for each group
  • Assorted materials for creating a spider and its habitat
  • Assorted wiggly eyes
  • Glue
  • Photographs of spiders (real spiders may be used)
  • Teacher created Science Exploration flowchart for each student

Opening:
5 minutes

Spider
Spin spider, spin!
Spin your web round and wide.
Spin your silky web with pride.
Greet the guests who come inside.
Spin spider, spin.

  1. Do all spiders spin webs?
  2. How do they spin their webs?
  3. What else can you tell me about spiders?

Describing / Summarizing:

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

Explore:
5-10 minutes

Summarizing / Organizing:

Students will be given a fact sheet about spiders with photographs. Each student will be responsible for one section of the fact sheet to read and summarize for the class.

Evaluation:

As students report their findings we will see if we can verify their information by observing the photographs of spiders. We will also use other books and photographs to observe many types of spiders.

Explanation:
3-5 minutes

Contrasting:

We will compare and contrast the different types of spiders and their respective habitats.

Comparing / Cause and effect:

  • What is the same about each spider? What is different? Why do spiders have different colors?
  • If a spider doesn’t spin a web, how does it get its food?
  • Where would that spider live? Why?
  • How could we prove that?
  • You have just formed a hypothesis. Who can tell me what that is?

Expansion:
15 minutes

  • Scientists use a particular method to prove their hypothesis.
  • It is called the Scientific Theory.
  • The first step is when you make observations about something. Did we do that?
  • In the first large rectangle on this sheet, please write “Making Observations”
  • In the oval directly underneath that box, write what you observed
  • Have we asked questions about spiders? Is there a question you have about spiders that you would like to have answered? Is there a question you have that you think you know the answer to but you really aren’t certain? Put a question in the box.

The teacher will continue with this until reaching the box entitled “Testing the Hypothesis”

  • The next step involves developing an experiment to test your hypothesis.
  • Look back at your hypothesis, how would you go about testing your hypothesis?

The teacher will spend a lot of time here, encouraging responses so that students understand there is more than one way to conduct this experiment and there are countless correct answers. Students are not used to that idea. They need time to test that theory.

  • Those are all great ideas, now choose one that you like the best and write it in the box. Make certain you list all the steps involved. How will you collect your data?
  • Now you have to decide if you answered the question you had about spiders. Was your hypothesis correct? Did you find that something else was true?
  • Write that in the box.
  • Now, how would you share your results with the next class who was studying spiders? Write that down in the last box.
  • This is how scientists communicate with one another.
  • You have each just written an experiment. If we had more time you would need to test your experiment to see what the results would be.

Evaluation:
10 minutes

Applying / Evaluating / Designing Model:
Based on the information you have gathered today, I would like you each to work in pairs and design a spider and its habitat, complete with what it eats and where it lives.
You have 10 minutes. Go.

Evaluation:
5 minutes

Diversity:

Students will explain their spiders to the group. We will be looking for the following:

  1. Why is your spider that color?
  2. How doers your spider capture its food?
  3. What does your spider eat?
  4. Where does your spider live?

Sources:

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.

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