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Learning outcomes

Students will be able to identify the body parts and functions of arachnids. They will also be able to classify arachnids by their distinguishing characteristics.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

2 hours


Technology resources


Begin spider (arachnid) unit by making a KWL chart in the form of a bulletin board web. (KWL lists what students know; what they want to know and what they learned.) Color code the information—things students know on one color index card, questions or what they want to learn on a second. Read Spiders by Gail Gibbons, which is a general fact book.


  1. Review with students the questions from their web (the “What do you want to know?”) that relate to spider bodies.
  2. Read the portions of Zoobooks: Spiders that relate to body parts and functions.
  3. Discuss distinguishing characteristics and classify arthropods such as spiders, dust mites, and scorpions according to their body parts.
  4. Explain the two large groups of spiders—wandering and web building.
  5. Use individual pictures of spiders to help students classify various spiders and discuss their interesting features.
  6. Use a large poster or drawing on the board to help students identify the body parts common to all spiders. This can also be done with a flannel board. Make the body parts of different colors and explain each function as you put it on the board with a label.
  7. Discuss the functions of each part and how and why it differs for the two groups of spiders.
  8. Display a real web captured by spraying it with hair spray and then lifting onto dark construction paper and wrapping it in plastic wrap. Provide pairs of students with the equipment to capture their own webs and allow them time to locate and capture some.
  9. Discuss the locations of the webs captured and reasons for this.
  10. Students will cut out construction paper spiders to glue on large construction paper. Students then label each body part and write spider facts with their spider creations.
  11. Students can then work in cooperative groups to create a song about the spider facts learned to this point—body parts and functions, groups of spiders etc. They can use the tune of “London Bridge” or “Frere Jacques” or any other they wish.


For evaluation, teachers will:

For the unit, assessment will include completing the KWL web with the learned information. This can be done individually first. Then, using the information on their sheets, students will come to a consensus regarding what information to put on the large board.

Supplemental information


This is part of a week long integrated unit focusing on spider facts and Anansi spiders in African Literature. The unit involves music, visual arts, language arts, math, science and social studies. It was taught to a multiage class of first and second graders.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Science (2005)

Grade 2