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Classroom T. Project Started

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Bloodletting, Sep 10, 2004.

  1. Bloodletting

    Bloodletting Arachnobaron

    In September I asked for help concerning a tarantula project I wanted to do in my sixth grade classroom. Well, it is now underway and going quite well. A special thanks to JakeRocks who has helped me out tremendously.

    50 of the 100 sixth grade students have their own sling. This will eventually include all 100 but I am starting with two of the groups. They are responsible to feed, water and take care of a sling for the duration of the school year. We will research different types of tarantulas and create a few different projects out of this activity.

    In addition to the slings we have 15 other tarantulas we will be using. We have a 40 gallon cricket tank up and going and already there are 100's of little pin heads crawling up the corners. We have a meal worm tank and Giant Cave Roaches, unfortunately, these don't reproduce very quickly, we need to get some other types of roaches.

    The web page will be up shortly, I will include that address as soon as the P.R. person gets it started. It will be off of www.isd.iu5.org. I am in the Iroquois School District, located in Erie, PA. The link will be up shortly.

    If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, I would love to hear them. This is the first time I have attempted this sort of activity. I have always had a classroom full of critters but this time the kids will be completely involved.

    Now, I am putting this up here so I can get some ideas and input. Naturally, this sort of activity is't one I can go around the school to see how other teachers have done it. In fact, some won't come into my classroom.

    I also think it is interesting to mention, in my 10 years of teaching, I have never had a student deathly afraid of my tarantulas, scorpions or anything else we may have.


  2. siucfi

    siucfi Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Thats a great idea, its awsome to see someone combining T's and education, I would have loved that when I was in sixth grade, what sp. are they growing? Well the best of luck keep us updated.
  3. MilkmanWes

    MilkmanWes Arachnobaron Old Timer

    How about hissing roaches? Bet kids would love a colony of those.

  4. Pheonixx

    Pheonixx Arachnoprince Old Timer

    umm WOW? how in the world did you talk the school into that? who is responsible for their care during the summer months? do the kids prekill the crix for the slings or what? What kind of T's are you using? this is definatley a great project and it will certianly help dispell many of the fears kids and parents have about spiders. keep up the good work...
  5. Lucky kids...

    Hey Scott,
    How are the T's you got from me doing? You are lucky to be able to commence a project like that. Last year I had the director of The Fort Wayne Community Schools call me and asked if I could pick up all the T's from area elementary schools. Some parents were complaining to the school system that they were afraid of their kids getting bit. Concerned with lawsuits the director told me I could come get them at no charge.
    I happily complied.
    Maintain your humidity when you leave for weekends and holidays and try to keep them at least 70-75F in case they turn the heat down or off for holidays.
    Next time I get up to Erie (Thanksgiving) I would like to see your set up!
    Greg Wolfe
    Indiana Exotics
  6. Bloodletting

    Bloodletting Arachnobaron

    Honestly, I wasn't sure if the school administration would allow me to do it. I got tons of information and did a proposal. Talked about how safe they really are and how people really have a lot of misconceptions about tarantulas. I also talked quite a bit about how it would fit into my curriculum. They liked it and approved it. I was pretty happy.

    I take care of the t's over the summer. I do have some students that go in all summer long with me and help out. It is a job but they love it. We dont prekill the crickets. I keep a fresh supply of pin-heads and I have a huge cricket tank, I rarely run out of tiny crickets. There are tons of pin-heads in my large tank. I also order them 1,000 at a time.

    We are now using g. aureostriate and b. albopilosum. Good ones for the kids. As this expands, I want different ones so we can compare and watch how different they become after they molt several times.

    I have had hissers. I love them. I may get some more but I am also interested in getting some that breed a bit quicker.
  7. mouse

    mouse Arachnolord Old Timer

    ahhh... corrupting a few more kids into becomeing future t-keepers {D
    nice idea and a good way of getting kids to understand about t's early and then they can help educate others (friends,familymembers) and so forth.
    good idea.
    i only offered at my daughters school, to bring some of my t's and bearded dragons to "show and tell", since they are lerning about animals right now.
    of couse i will not take them out of the containers.... to many 3rd and 4th graders to chance a t getting stepped on should it run.
  8. That is so cool!!! I wish I would have had you for a teacher.
    BTW where did you get that many slings?
  9. WayneT

    WayneT Arachnoangel Old Timer

    Why couldn't I have had a teacher like you when I was in school??

    That is a wonderful thing in my opinion! And I'm so happy for the kids!

    Oh and Greg? You ever run into a sweet deal like that again.... ;)
  10. Professor T

    Professor T Arachnodemon

    I think that is soooo cool. You could track growth rates and have the kids graph the results. You can compare the two different species by keeping all other variables the same. You can also within the same species see how different temperature, humidity, food quantity,etc effects growth rate by manipulating one variable at a time and keeping everything else constant.

    You could have the kids come up with their own ideas of what variable to test, and have them develop their own experimental design. The possiblitites are endless.

    I bet they will get a lot out of just taking responsibility for keeping a living organism alive.

    Kudos to you for a very ambitious project. You never know what candle you will light with one of those kids, maybe a future PhD in Entomology. Maybe a hero will emerge that will help save the biodiversity on this planet...you never know. :)
  11. rosehaired1979

    rosehaired1979 Arachnoking Old Timer

    He said he got them from Jakes tarantulas :). I hope the kids love this project and maybe learn to like tarantulas as well :) And you will be able to do more projects like this in the future.
  12. Bloodletting

    Bloodletting Arachnobaron

    It hasn't been cheap. It is all coming out of my pocket. JakeRocks helped me out quite a bit with the slings. Everything however costs, crickets, containers (especially as they grow), cricket tanks and food, etc...

    But...it has been worth it.

    Great ideas, we will be doing some of that. A lot with journals and web page design also. I am actually integrating a lot of it into the writing curriculum. I know that sounds odd...

  13. Bravo!

    Wish there would be some way I could incorporate T's into my furture lesson plans (I got 1 more year before I get my BA in History)...but alas...T's really don't fit into American or World History too well.

    However, I'm still gonna try and convince the administration to allow me to keep either my B. smithii or my G. Rosea in the classroom (won't chance an escape with the OBT or H. lividium)
  14. Bloodletting

    Bloodletting Arachnobaron

    Be creative, always a way to integrate just about anything. Once you see your curriculum, you may get a great idea.
  15. Professor T

    Professor T Arachnodemon

    Actually that doesn't sound odd at all, it sounds very creative. They will have a common bond of experience to write about, and I bet writing won't seem like a chore to them. I bet you get awesome products back from these kids.A+ :D

  16. If it was a college course I was going to be teaching, yeah, I probably could.

    But if it's the same curriculum that was taught to me not 3 years ago...it's gonna be a tough sell.
  17. Bloodletting

    Bloodletting Arachnobaron

    Yeah, college could be a bit tough. I do act 48 courses for teachers and I do workshops for child care workers in the evenings. In PA they need so many hrs. I designed one of my modules around mimicry, adaptation and coloration. I based much of the class on my tarantulas. I have included tons of other stuff but it was a chance to incorporate my t's and show them off a bit. Easier for me, you may have some difficulty integrating them into your college courses.

    But hey, maybe just a classroom pet, but then again you probably share rooms with other instructors. Well, get really creative i guess.

  18. Oh...I meant that I'd have more room for that in college. The high school curriculum is pretty strict here. I'd have to find some way that the Tarantula was historically significant in a major way in order to use it. Unfortunately, high school history courses bum-rush the history of the world and does'nt focus on specific things. Thus, unless a tarantula caused a major war or incident that was known world wide, I doubt they'll let me use it as a lesson plan.

    As for college courses...."History of the B-Movie Monsters" :D hmmmm.....time to go suggest ideas for the History Department...I got a B. smithi that would be perfect for dispelling the myths created by the B-Movie Monsters
  19. 8 leg wonder

    8 leg wonder Arachnoangel Old Timer

    Hissers breed too slowly, try discoids or lobster roaches
  20. Bloodletting

    Bloodletting Arachnobaron

    Yep, those are the two I have considered. I need to get more tanks ready. I certainly have the room. I really want to get the t. project going full force before I take on the roach tanks. I can see that around Jan. Feb...