Science and Teaching for Field Instructors

Spider Exploration

Many students are squeamish about spiders. But when you spray spider webs with a water mister, they are easy to see and gorgeous, and just about anyone can get caught up in exploring them! After this activity, students will probably notice and appreciate spider webs everywhere, including when they return home. They will also probably be more careful to avoid knocking webs down while walking around. In this activity, students notice spider webs as they walk. When students arrive at an exploration site, pairs search for different kinds of webs in the area, mist them with water, then regroup to discuss their observations and think about how different types of webs help spiders catch different kinds of prey. Students learn about different web types, then return to the field to use a key to identify different kinds of webs. They also make explanations about how the structures of the webs they find function to catch prey.

Students will:
  • Ask questions about spiders and how they catch their prey.
  • Use a key to identify types of spiders.
  • Understand that there are many different kinds of spiders and spider webs.
  • Understand that the structure of different kinds of spider webs helps spiders catch different kinds of prey.
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Spider Exploration Instructor Guide