Spiders in Classrooms – Ideas from the Web

Why Limit Yourself to Spiders?

Here are two science education programs to use monarch butterflies as the basis for scientific inquiry. Both have teacher manuals with well developed curricula:

  • http://www.monarchlab.umn.edu/Teachers/teachers.html
    Monarchs in the Classroom’ is an outstanding program which provides training for teachers and curriculum suggestions for the classroom involving monarch ecology, behavior and evolution. “Why monarchs? Monarchs are familiar, well-loved insects that provide students and teachers with a comfortable, non-threatening experience with living organisms. Their easily-observed life cycle brings diverse and exciting science concepts to life, and their large size makes it easy for students to handle all life stages. Working with living organisms in the classroom engages students and allows them to practice observation, measuring, hypothesis-making and evaluating skills. Using monarchs is especially appealing because it captures the interest and attention of all students, not just those with an “aptitude for science.” The goal of the program is to involve citizen scientists in real research on monarch butterflies. There are projects that are targeted from K – adults. Monarchs in the Classroom has a well developed Teachers Manual, as well as extensive support products (including live caterpillars and posters) at reasonable prices. Good links.

  • http://www.learner.org/jnorth
    Journey North is a science education program that uses the Internet to track migration and signs of spring. Students in classrooms across North America share their own observations of the changing seasons while tracking the Spring Migration. The site includes excellent spring and fall lesson plans on monarch butterflies, as well as other migrating animals. Online and hardcopy Teacher Manuals available.