We have little 8-legged visitors these days: crawling on the walls, on the floor, jumping from space to space. The children are excited, or scared, and if one child sees it, there’s a couple or three, or even more children crowded around the little intruder. We took this opportunity to talk about this tiny visitor who does nothing harmful to our classroom. We said the spider was just curious to find out what was going on. The children learned to let the spiders be free.
So, we wanted to learn more about the spiders who visit our classroom. They are, in one sense, our pets, which we can observe their movements. We read the book “The Very Busy Spider” by Eric Carl. The children learned that spiders are busy workers, which weave artistic webs to catch dinner. The children can look at the beautiful webs spiders make.
In October, the Montessori and Elementary School had a joint Fun Day, whose theme was “Reading.” The elementary students dressed up as characters from books. Each class decorated their door. We decided to create a spider on its web catching insects, which was based on our favorite Eric Carl’s storybook. The children also drew farm animals inviting the spider to play with them, though the “Spider was very busy spinning her web.”
We’ve learned that spiders are not actually in the family of insects; they are arachnids. Spiders have 8 simple eyes to enable them to have a complete view around them. We learned the names of the spider’s different parts. Cephalothorax (yes, a big name!) and abdomen are the two sections. Spiders have 8 legs and also 2 pedipalps, which are used like arms to catch their prey. From the spinneret at the bottom of their abdomen, the spiders spin silky threads to make their attractive web patterns.
Now that they know more about spiders, the children are excited to “observe” when they encounter spiders. One child said, “I counted 8 legs”; another announced, “I saw the little pedipalps”; one classmate sighed, “I couldn’t count 8 eyes.” Another child shouted from the bathroom, “There’s an arachnid in the bathroom!” Now we are not scared of spiders.
On the Fun Day, the children got to walk around the Montessori building, as well as Elementary halls, to see other classes’ Door Decorations. Our class went to see Ms.Catherine’s and Ms.Sallie’s doors,
the two first grade classrooms, 1P ad 1G, and the Elementary School classrooms on the other side.
The Elementary music teacher, Ms.Lee, and our movements teacher, Mrs. Okaguchi, came to read us a book.
Some of us visited the French classroom next door, where a French mom read us a story in French!
Oh, after lunch, we all enjoyed a special cold dessert—yes, ice cream!
We also had some Elementary school teacher and students come to our classroom to help us make book markers to take home.
We certainly had a Fun Day. The children had a lot to tell their moms and dads when they got home.
They love reading books.