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Bug Activity #6:Spiders are not Bugs

spider's web blue.jpg (3733 bytes)Your Assignment: In this activity you are going to read some poems about spiders and after identifying the type of spider mentioned in the poem you are going to go to the Internet and find some information about that species.

Thanks to Matt Welter for use of his poems.  Permission granted for use. These poems are also in a collection of other bugs and creepy creatures that people love called, "Least Loved Beasts of the Really Wild West" (Native West Press).


Spider Trust

She knows that
when the thin line
of a jumping spider
creases her brow
she will be safe.

She feels her strides
gain with each glistening
grass spider web she sees
on the old railroad grade
ahead of her.

She releases
half a mile more
of her fear
each time an orb web
nets her upper torso.

The spiders tell her
that no one else
has yet
been on the trail
this morning.

©Matt Welter
Permission granted for use by Matt Welter

jumping spider3.jpg (8655 bytes)Your Jumping Spider Assignment:

  • Click HERE to print the worksheet for this activity.  After reading the poem go to each website to find the answers to the questions. Write your answers on the worksheet, you do not need to answer in complete sentences. Turn the worksheet in to your teacher.

  • Read the poem "Spider Trust" by Matt Welter

  • Visit each site below to learn more about Jumping Spiders

Site #1:   University of Florida's Featured Creature
http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/misc/jumping_spiders.htm

Site #2: Tree of Life http://www.tolweb.org/tree?group=Salticidae  

 

If you want Matt to read the poem
to you go to this site
http://parallelpress.library.wisc.edu/chapbooks/poetry/author.shtml?welter  


 

Wolf Spider

Lycosa frondicola

Come climb upon my back
my red velvet grains of sand.
I wish you to adorn me
my sparkling raspberry brood.
You're my living fabrication
a bustle filigreed with shiny legs
clinging by your birth yolks.
I once carried all hundred of you
wolf spider2.jpg (5862 bytes)
in a satchel spun of cotton.
It was a large aspirin
that I swallowed after you hatched.
You tickled me with your 800 teensy legs
crawling up my own.
Worry not, my tiny garnets,
if you fall off I'll rush back
and let you climb upon me
hind leg to abdomen.
Your plush seat awaits you
reserved upon this mother coach.
Hold tight, my wee beasties,
the time has come for feasting.
I spy a sand fly, tired and landing.
We become the wolf we are
and dash at our savory prey.

©Matt Welter1997
Permission granted for use by Matt Welter

wolf spider 4.jpg (5230 bytes)Your Wolf Spider Assignment:

  • Click HERE to print the worksheet for this activity. After reading the poem "Wolf Spider" by Matt Welter use the worksheet to answer a few questions about the poem.  Then visit the websites to learn more about Wolf Spiders and answer the rest of the questions on the worksheet.  You do not need to answer in complete sentences.  Don't forget to turn your paper in to the teacher.

  • Read the poem "Wolf Spider" by Matt Welter

  • Visit each site below to learn more about Wolf Spiders

Site #1: Recognizing Wolf Spiders
http://www.accessexcellence.org/LC/SS/wolf_spider/spider_section1.html

Site #2: Male or Female? http://www.accessexcellence.org/LC/SS/wolf_spider/spider_section3.html  

Site #3:
Wikipedia on Wolf Spiders

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_Spider

 

 


Shadow of a Cloud

creeping along
the cool New Mexico desert.
Crawling up and down arroyos
yet never shading the tops
of mesquites or soap yucca stalks.

Look up.
Not a cloud in the sky.

For this is not a shadow,
it is the tarantula migration,
and that is why the road is closed,
and we quietly wait outside our cars,
behind the barrier and the conservation guards.
taraclip.gif (5246 bytes)
Some of us look on with binoculars.
All of us feel like heat waves:
quiet, our spirits evaporating.

The biker that reported them still stands there:
dark, grizzled, scorched, a bug-eyed sentinel.
He says he could have smashed them by the hundreds,
but he stopped in disbelief,
watching them all jumping in one direction.
Then he wheeled back around.

A tourist breaks our silence,
sticks his head out of his rental car,
shouts, "Come on! I got somewhere to go!"
Our spirits cringe like tarantulas.
We think back at him,
"So do they."

© Matt Welter, 1999
Permission granted for use by Matt Welter

tarantula2.jpg (11859 bytes)Your Tarantula Assignment:

  • Click HERE to print the worksheet for this activity. After reading the poem "Shadow of a Cloud" by Matt Welter use the worksheet to answer a few questions about the poem.  Then visit the websites to learn more about Tarantulas and answer the rest of the questions on the worksheet.  You do not need to answer in complete sentences.  Don't forget to turn your paper in to the teacher.

  • Read the poem "Shadow of a Cloud" by Matt Welter

  • Visit each site below to learn more about Tarantulas.

Site #1:  Goliath Bird Eating Spider http://www.extremescience.com/BiggestSpider.htm

Site #2: Caring for Tarantulas in Captivity  http://courses.ttu.edu/thomas/classPet/1999/Tarantula/care.htm

Site #3: National Geographic Tarantulas http://www.nationalgeographic.com/tarantulas/intro1.html There are no questions from this site but it is pretty cool.  You can learn a lot about tarantulas from this animated site.

tarantula3.jpg (18841 bytes)

 

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