Tarantula WebQuest
An Arachnid Adventure
created by A. Meyerhorn
for Elementary Grades
designed September 2001
tarantula

external link The red dot by a link to a web site through the web address, site title, word, or picture, indicates that you are leaving the Portsmouth School District Web Site, and the Portsmouth School District is not responsible for the content of this external site.
 

Introduction
Task
Process
Resources
Conclusion
Evaluation

Introduction

How do you feel about spiders?
Do you like to watch them or do you want to stomp on them?

During these lessons, you will become arachnologists.
Arachnologists are scientists who study spiders.
Spiders are not insects. They are arachnids.

There are many kinds of spiders, but all spiders have one thing alike, 8 legs.
You will find out about a spider named tarantula.
Tarantulas look different than most spiders, because they are hairy.
You will learn
           1.   what tarantulas look like
                           2.  where tarantulas live
                           3.  what tarantulas eat
                           4.  how tarantulas change.

Get ready to explore the world of tarantulas!
 

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Task

Congratulations! A tarantula has been given to the zoo. The Spider House has space, but the zoo has never had a tarantula and there is no home for it yet. You are entomologists. You have been asked by the director of the zoo to help find out what kind of tarantula the zoo was given and to help with the display of it. Your task is to learn about tarantulas, so you can identify the tarantula and teach the zoo keepers how to create a home and to care for it.
 

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Process

The person sending the picture of the tarantula to the zoo sent four different pictures. We don't know which one will be ours, so we need to learn  about all four. There will be four teams of arachnologists learning about the tarantulas.
 

Redknee Tarantula Cobalt Blue Tarantula Pinktoe Tarantula Chilean Rose Tarantula
Team 1 Spider Team 2 Spider Team 3 Spider Team 4 Spider

Each team will learn about one tarantula.

You will make and label two pictures.
One picture will show what the tarantula looks like. Include
        1.  a picture showing details of the tarantula and
        2. words giving both the common and scientific names of the spider.
One picture will show
        1.  a cage that will keep the tarantula safe and
        2. the food and moisture the tarantula needs
        3. labels for things in the cage.
Three or four sentences telling information to help us care for the tarantula.
Answer these questions:   1. Does this tarantula need places to climb? Why?
                       2.  What does the tarantula eat?
                                           3.  What should we do when it molts?
Each person on the team will write one sentence.

Resources
 

     Team 1 will find the following links useful.
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Click on a picture to link to information you will need.
external linkRedknee Tarantula
Redknee Tarantula
tarantula cage

shed tarantula skin
Click on the picture for ---------->
external link  larger picture
and the common and scientific names.
 fact sheet about this spider.
information about the cage this spider needs.
pictures and information about molting.

 
Team 2 will find the following links useful.
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Click on a picture to link to information you will need.
external linkCobalt Blue Tarantula
Cobalt Blue Tarantula
tarantula cage
shed tarantula skin
Click on the picture for ---------->
external link larger picture
and the common and scientific names.
fact sheet about this spider.
information about the cage this spider needs. pictures and information about molting.

 
Team 3 will find the following links useful.
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Click on a picture to link to information you will need.
external linkPinktoe Tarantula
Pinktoe Tarantula
tarantula cage
shed tarantula skin
Click on the picture for ---------->
external link larger picture
and the common and scientific names.
fact sheet about this spider.
information about the cage this spider needs. pictures and information about molting.

 
Team 4 will find the following links useful.
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Click on a picture to link to information you will need.
external link
Chilean Rose Tarantula
Chilean Rose Tarantula
tarantula cage
shed tarantula skin
Click on the picture for ---------->
external link larger picture
and the common and scientific names.
fact sheet about this spider. information about the cage this spider needs. pictures and information about molting.

All arachnologists  will think about this problem and find a solution.
Some people are afraid of tarantulas. Why do think this is so? Think of how you would make a tarantula so it would be less scary. Show your tarantula with an illustration or a model. Write about the way you made it different from a real tarantula.

Extra Resources for More Information and for Fun

Each site will open in a new window. To return to this page, close the new window.
Sites for Children and Adults  Click on pictures or underlined words to connect to links.
external link.link to photos of adult Chilean Rose How large is an adult Chilean Rose? See some pictures of a 
external linkChilean Rose in someone's hand. Read about external linkcaring for a tarantula.
external link.link to photos of tarantulas
There are many external linkphotos of a person's pet tarantulas here, but the site is German so the words will look strange to you. Find Arten on the list on the left and click on Fotogalerie. You might need an adult's help to find this link for the pictures.
external link.link to photos of tarantula shedding skin
When a tarantula grows bigger, it molts (sheds its skin). It starts by lying on its back and when it is done, it is a bigger tarantula.external linkRead about how a tarantula molts and seeexternal linkpictures.
external link.link to tarantula photos There are many different external linkkinds of tarantulas. Some are quite beautiful. This sites shows pictures of some. You can click on the pictures and learn more about that kind.
external link.
Link to Enchanted Learning to external linkread about the tarantula and see a external linkdiagram of the parts of a tarantula. See if you can fill in the names for the parts on a diagram with external linkblanks. You can even external linkpaint a tarantula the way you want!
external link.link to directions for making egg carton spider
Link to Enchanted Learning to find directions for making this external linkspider from a cardboard egg carton. Have fun being creative, or make it colors of a real tarantula.
external link.link to recipe for spider treat Read the recipe forexternal linkchocolate spiders. Would you like something like this for a treat? Ask an adult for help making these.
external link.link to information about tarantulas
picture by Lacey
This shows external linkcare information for some of the kinds of tarantulas. Some are for beginners, and some are for people with experience. Look for the green links to read about and see tarantulas that are easy to care for.
external link.link to photos and information about tarantulas These external linkcare information have excellent pictures, but they are written in paragraph form. They are hard for beginner readers, so you might want to ask for help.

 
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Conclusion

You have learned about four tarantulas. You know what they look like, what environment they need, what they eat, and how to protect them. Do you feel the same about spiders as you did before your study?

How do you feel about having a tarantula as a class display animal? One of these tarantulas can "visit" us for a while. We would keep it in its tank and not handle it. We know now that some tarantulas are fragile and could die if they are dropped.

If we choose to bring a tarantula into our classroom, we will plan a celebration to announce its arrival just as the people at a zoo might do. We will present our pictures, information, and charts about all the tarantulas, and we will enjoy refreshments together. We can even make some of our refreshments will look like spiders!
 

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Evaluation

Rubric (based upon reasonable expectations for grade level)

8 Points Possible
My spider picture is colorful and is my best work.  (2 points)

My spider picture is not colorful and is not my best work. (1 point)

_____
points
awarded
My spider picture has the common name and the scientific name.  (2 points)

My spider picture is missing the common name or the scientific name.  (1 point)

_____
points
awarded
My cage picture is colorful and has labels.  (2 points)

My cage picture is not colorful or does not have labels. (1 point)

_____
points
awarded
My sentence makes sense and can be read. (2 points)

My sentence does not sense. (1 point)

_____
points
awarded

 
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copyright    A. Meyerhorn 2001


Mexican Redknee Tarantula
Do you have questions or comments?
Send email to
[a.meyerhorn at the following domain:
.lportsmouth.lk.12.n.h.uls.]
(I suggest that you do not cut and paste.)

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