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Archive for September 11th, 2012

Daisy, the Spider

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The first few weeks of school we had a visitor at our window, a huge garden spider. One day, my students decided that we needed to write about the spider. I teach gifted students, so I am always looking for ways to exercise and inspire their naturally curious minds. One of my students, a sixth grader Kaylie, decided to do some research about the spider. We all thought that our spider needed a name, so we gathered at the table and brainstormed names. We agreed on the name Daisy.

I have started using kidblog in my classroom. I love how this forum is making my students want to write. I encouraged Kaylie to share her research in a blog post. I will copy it here. Teachers, if you use this post as a model for writing, please leave a comment that I can share with Kaylie.

On the first day of Gifted and Talented in Mrs. Simon’s classroom, we were all amazed to look out the window. A black and yellow spider had spun a web outside our window. We watched it through the morning, spinning its web. That was the first day.

On the second day, when I walked into the room, Matthew burst with joy and guided me to the window. The web was covered (and I mean COVERED ) in flies and gnats. And there, sitting in the middle of the beautifully spun web, yours truly, our spider was chomping on a grasshopper. It was so interesting, because none of us had ever seen something like it before. We got a good view of the spider, because it was facing the window, and we could see it from our desks. We marveled over the ‘banana spider’. I wasn’t so sure about its species, so I went on the internet to do some research.

It turns out that the spider was no banana spider at all, but a garden spider. Our little buddy perfectly matched the picture on the internet. Garden spiders have large abdomens that have intricate patterns of yellow and black. Its long legs are nearly two inches long. The eight legs are black with yellow tips. Its head, what you would expect to be yellow is actually a dusty gray. The spider created a 5×4 silk web, completely flawless. That was the end of day 2.

This morning, I wanted to post a poem about our spider on this blog. We needed a picture of it so you can get a clear image of our amazement. Matthew, Mrs. Simon and I took a little ‘field trip’ to the playground, where our window was. She snapped a picture, but after, we noticed something unusual. A plump brown sac, about two inches in diameter, was hanging in the corner of the window, where we couldn’t see from indoors. I threw out the suggestion that it was an egg sac. For further reference, I went back to the computer and searched ‘garden spider egg sacs’. Sure enough, a picture came up looking very similar to the one we saw out side.

I read on. The paragraph said that garden spiders lay their egg sacs at the beginning of fall, and that they hatch in the spring. Sadly, it also said that the grown garden spiders die shortly after they spin their egg sacs, so the spider might die soon. With that in mind, we looked toward our spider who was hanging solemnly from its web. I couldn’t stand that it had been our pet for so long without a name. After a classroom vote and a lot of bad names, we finaly came up with Daisy. I think she seemed to like that name.That was the end of day three.

On Friday, we didn’t have G.T., so we could not check on Daisy and see if she was still hanging in the window. On Monday, we came back. We saw an egg sac hanging in the window. The other empty sacs weren’t Daisy’s. They were of other spiders.

Our spider was starting to wilt. Her abdomen was shriveled up. I didn’t think she would last any longer.

Yet again, our spider has surprised us. Another egg sac was added to the window, so now there are two egg sacs from our Daisy spider.

Sadly, four days after hurricane Isaac, Daisy disappeared. Her memory will live on in her hundreds of beautiful babies that will hatch in the spring. We will look forward to watching many little garden spiders crawl away. Thank you, Daisy.

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