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The Spider’s Web Using emergent interests to support children’s learning.

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Presentation on theme: "The Spider’s Web Using emergent interests to support children’s learning."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Spider’s Web Using emergent interests to support children’s learning

2 How we began … Jacinta found an Australian orb spider in the kindergarten garden. This discovery was met with much excitement and lots of ideas and questions. We documented these on a concept web. Image: Spider and web, a Creative Commons: Attribution 2.0 Generic licensed photo from photofarmer’s photostream accessed Feb 10, 2011.

3 Brainstorming ideas with a concept web What do we know about spiders? What do we want to find out? hairy eat bugs make webs must not touch What eats spiders? How do they make webs? Where is the poison ? Can I make a web? 8 legs What sort is our spider? Who/what can help us? Google it! my mum books spiderman

4 Setting up an interest area The question “Can I make a spider web?” provoked more suggestions about creating an interest area — this became the spider table, based on the children’s ideas. We began with the prompt “What will we need?” –books –a spider web — what can we use to make it? –stones and leaves for the spiders to hide in –some plastic spiders and insects.

5 Then what happened? Over the next few days, more things were added to the spider table as children collected items from outside. Several children began experimenting with making a spider web using wool and tape. The children used the illustrations from the story books and observations of our orb spider to help them represent a web shape.

6 Meanwhile, Tom had been quietly watching what was happening … Tom was fascinated with the spider web and asked to add to the existing design. He pulled a section of wool down from the reel on the shelf and attempted to tape it to the green fabric on the table. Tom tried to make the spider balance on the wool hanging down but it fell off twice. Tom then raised the wool up and tried to balance the spider again.

7 Problem solving in action Tom changed spiders and tried to balance the black one on another section of the web where more lengths of wool crossed over. It still didn’t balance!

8 Dealing with a challenge At this point, Tom put the spider down on the table, picked up the yellow caterpillar and played with it, moving the caterpillar slowly across the rocks.

9 Perseverance After a while, Tom tried the black spider one more time. When it still wouldn’t balance he played with it; first moving it across his other hand, then moving it along the edge of the table.

10 Where to from here? What strategies could I use to help Tom with problem solving, based on my observations? I could: Show Tom the photos and ask him to reflect on what had happened. Talk about the relative strength of a spider’s web. Ask “How do spiders balance on their webs?” Ask “What could be stronger than wool, can we try something else?” What does this story tell me about Tom’s problem-solving skills? What did you notice about his ability to: persevere face challenges use trial and error?

11 Teacher’s mind map Australian spiders Introduce the “look, love and leave” principle when examining wildlife. Discuss safety in the bush and caring for the natural environment Questions to explore Do all spiders live in webs? What do they eat? How do they eat food? Do spiders have teeth? Why are webs sticky? Are all webs the same? Vocabulary spiderling, poison, venom, sac, prey, camouflage, trap, spin, twist, web, silken thread, habitat, home Find out about spider habits by doing some observational drawings of the spider and the web spider habitats through internet searches Music and movement finger rhymes “Spin spider spin” CD Criss-cross apple sauce 5 little spiders Incy wincey Spider movements spinning and floating Space for unexpected new directions that children suggest Books The very busy spider — Areana Spiders spin silk: how & why? Insects and spiders 10 big spiders

12 I chose to record this experience as a learning story in the following way What did I notice? Tom was fascinated with the spider’s web and asked to add to the existing design. He pulled a section of wool down from the reel on the shelf and attempted to tape it to the green fabric on the table. Tom tried to make the spider balance on the wool hanging down but it fell off twice. Tom then raised the wool up and tried to balance the spider again. Tom changed spiders and tried to balance the black one on another section of the web where more lengths of wool crossed over. It still didn’t balance. At this point, Tom put the spider down on the table, picked up the yellow caterpillar and played with it, moving the caterpillar slowly across the rocks. After a while, Tom tried the black spider one more time. When it still wouldn’t balance he played with it; first moving it across his other hand, then moving it along the edge of the table. Why was it significant? This observation has really demonstrated Tom’s interest in the spider table, his willingness to persevere when faced with a challenge and his use of trial and error as a strategy to solve the problem of balancing the spider. Where to from here? Show Tom the photos and ask him to reflect on what happened. Talk about the relative strength of a spider’s web. Ask “How do spiders balance on their webs?” Ask “What could be stronger than wool? Can we try something else?” Find: books about spiders internet resources about spiders — do some internet research with the children materials and wool (feathery) to add to the collage the plastic insect set and magnifying glasses — for some close observations.


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