I love it when teachable moments happen. I think they are so much more fun sometimes than the lessons I plan because they are unexpected and very relevant to what the kids are interested or need to learn at the right time. Spiders just happened to be one of the lessons that we have been learning about lately.
It all started at nap time a few weeks ago and I was just about to turn on some quiet music when I looked down and saw this "little" guy/girl and thought that someone must be playing a joke because there definitely wasn't a real spider this big in my classroom. Upon closer inspection however it was definitely real. I immediately grabbed one of our many bug boxes and began the chase. I had to move a few cots (with sleeping children on them) and get down on my belly to find it under the heater but I was able to capture it unharmed. When I turn around with my prize one of my students who hadn't fallen asleep yet was watching with wide eyes and said in a very impressed voice "That was a good catch Miss Harmony, a good catch."
Well that good catch went on to help us learn about peoples fears (of spiders) and how we should be respectful of them and help them not to be afraid of them if we can. We also learned basic facts about spiders and how many legs and eyes they have and how they shed their skin as they grow. After researching for a few days, we found out that this was a wolf spider (the eyes placement was the biggest help) and that they're harmless. One interesting thing about wolf spiders though is that they carry their babies on their back (the mommies do anyways) for about a week before the babies go off on their own. We read some really good books with spiders in them (A Diary of a Spider, Charlotte's Web, and Once I Knew a Spider), and had fun making spider webs with yarn and paint.
Such fun! I love my job:)