Thursday, May 5, 2011

Of Spiders and Butterflies -- Posting #29

So, not only was the launching of the space shuttle STS-134 delayed yet again but all of our spiders have escaped from their carefully designed and constructed habitats!  See blog post #25. Just another day in the life of a classroom teacher! These circumstances have brought an untold number of teachable moments.

While we have been waiting for the space shuttle to launch to launch so we can compare our spider webs to the ones spun in microgravity we have been learning about butterflies. All this information on arachnids and insects will eventually tie together in our Ecology Unit. Since these students have no prior knowledge I am using these circumstances to teach them some.
By combining the overlapping units on space and ecology we have had the opportunity to study:
  • Insects vs arachnids
  • Requirements for life in space
  • Habitats
  • Incomplete and complete metamorphosis
  • Food chains and food webs
  • Spiral tongues
  • Technical glitches at NASA
  • Space shuttle disasters
  • Use of Twitter to monitor NASA launches

In the meanwhile I have also ordered Painted Lady Butterfly larvae from one of the biological suppliers. Once these arrive we will be able to witness the wonder of Mother Nature up close and personal! Stay tuned for more information!
How have used insects or arachnids in your classroom? Send me a tweet @EurekaTeacher

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