Nature study can be as simple as a short walk in the neighborhood or as elaborate as a week in a National Park. Don’t make it hard. This month, We are going to look for spiders. You’ll be able to find pictures of these items and many others online to explore with your children. Remember: you don’t have to know all the answers to your kids’ questions because you can look up the answers together.
Here are some questions to consider with your kids while you explore:
- How many legs does the spider have?
- What makes a spider NOT an insect?
- What is the purpose of a spider web?
- Are all spider web’s the same shape?
- What do spiders eat?
- Which spiders are actually dangerous to people?
Oklahoma Spiders to research
- Black Widow
- Brown Recluse
- Wolf Spider
- Orb Weaver
A fantastic resource for these spiders:
- The Magnificent Book of Inspects and Spiders
- Ultimate Bugopedia
- Are You a Spider?
- Spiders by Gail Gibbons
- The Life of a Spider by J. Henri Fabre
- Eight-Legged Marvels: Beauty and Wonder in the World of Spiders
- Bugs: Stunning Insects, Spiders, Creepy Crawlies (pop-up books)
Handbook of Nature Study:
Have you heard of Anna Botsford Comstock’s Handbook of Nature Study? It’s a fantastic book that covers all kinds of creatures, plants, and habitats. Since it has all sorts of resources in it, you should download it for free at https://www.google.com/books/edition/Handbook_of_Nature_study_for_Teachers_an/CjPbAAAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0
Anna Botsford Comstock talks about spiders on pages 475-488 of the linked edition of the Handbook of Nature Study. Take a few minutes to read those pages, and then keep those ideas in mind as you and your kids watch for spiders this month. That way, you may remember the answers to some of their questions, and you have another handy resource to check when you can’t.