Advice on Spreading the Gospel

Ultimate Instar

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 20, 2002
Messages
457
On June 10th, I'm going to be giving a short (15 minute) presentation to my son's 2nd grade class on tarantulas. Should I go with brightly colored, easily handled or large species? Would a feeding demonstration go over well? I have several slings; should I bring any of them? I have the following adults:

C. crawshayi
M. robustum
G. pulchra
H. lividum
C. cyaneopubescens
A. versicolor
B. pallidum
P. murinus

I have a C. fimbriatus but I don't want to disturb her since she's been behaving so well lately.

Thanks,
Karen N.
 

sunnymarcie

Celestial Spider
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 13, 2003
Messages
1,294
A feeding demo would be fun:)
Are you sure that you will be able to take the T's out?
Some schools only allow a show and tell kind of thing.
I'd take the tiny ones and maybe 2 or 3 display only T's.
The kids will enjoy it either way for the most part.
Your biggest concern should be the parents. Some of them will
just freak out!=D
 

willywonka

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 2, 2003
Messages
146
As a school teacher and a tarantula collector I hope I can give you some advice. Do not let any of the students handle your tarantulas, you're only asking for trouble. Dead tarantulas and lawsuits are just a few things to come to mind. If you are going to take out a tarantula only take out the most docile one you have and walk around with it. I would set up some ground rules with the students such as no blowing on it or trying to touch it. Being a second grade class you could have them all sit in a circle around you. This would allow those who are unsure to be at the fringe of the circle where they will feel safe and that they are still participating. I think that you will have a great experience. Most kids will have a ton of questions for you so expect a little longer than 15 minutes. I have taken my tarantulas into 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th grade classrooms and the experience for the students and for me has been wonderful. My wife has even used my tarantulas in her 1st grade class as a writing lesson. Hope this helps and have fun!
 

Joy

Priestess of Pulchra-tude
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 12, 2002
Messages
903
Originally posted by Ultimate Instar
On June 10th, I'm going to be giving a short (15 minute) presentation to my son's 2nd grade class on tarantulas. Should I go with brightly colored, easily handled or large species? Would a feeding demonstration go over well? I have several slings; should I bring any of them? I have the following adults:

C. crawshayi
M. robustum
G. pulchra
H. lividum
C. cyaneopubescens
A. versicolor
B. pallidum
P. murinus

If possible, I'd go with a mixture of brightly-colored, easily handled, AND large species. The very diversity of their colors and forms is usually very interesting to people. IME, feeding demonstrations go over very well. I usually take more than one for this as they won't always perform on demand. Immatures are more reliable feeders after being disturbed (by the transportation process) than mature specimens, I've found. I'd agree that in general, it's best not to let the kids handle the spiders, owing both to liability issues and the well-being of the spiders. I have broken this rule on occasion with success, and so have others, but you'd better be very sure of yourself and your spider if you try it.

Be prepared for lots of questions! Someone is sure to ask you if you've ever been bitten. Someone is sure to bring up Spiderman! And at least two or three kids are sure to say at the conclusion of your talk, "I'm going to ask my mom if I can get a tarantula!" At that point, you will know your work is done ;)

Joy
 

atavuss

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
1,034
Originally posted by Ultimate Instar
On June 10th, I'm going to be giving a short (15 minute) presentation to my son's 2nd grade class on tarantulas. Should I go with brightly colored, easily handled or large species? Would a feeding demonstration go over well? I have several slings; should I bring any of them? I have the following adults:

C. crawshayi
M. robustum
G. pulchra
H. lividum
C. cyaneopubescens
A. versicolor
B. pallidum
P. murinus

I have a C. fimbriatus but I don't want to disturb her since she's been behaving so well lately.

Thanks,
Karen N.
Karen, I would take all of them as some of them such as the lividum, crawshayi, etc. will probably not be viewable if they have a burrow and are hiding. I have never taken out any of my tarantulas due to liability for the school and or the possibility of the t being injured. I do take out reptiles from their enclosures (bearded dragon, blue tongue skink, etc.) but I do not allow anyone to hold or touch them. if the t will feed I would show the students although it would be hard for a room full of students to really see what is going on. good luck and let us know how it goes!
Ed
 

Immortal_sin

Arachnotemptress
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 17, 2002
Messages
3,955
I gave a talk and demonstration with a G pulchra and A versicolor earlier this year in my daughter's second grade class.
They were so well behaved, that I brought out both spiders, and let them look one at a time.
No touching them though!
I gave a short talk about where you can find tarantulas, the differences between arboreal and terrestrial, etc.
We talked about their senses too. They had just finished studying spiders, so they were fairly knowledgeable.
I also know that quite a few were wanting a tarantula by the end!
Good luck, it's just a blast talking to kids :)
 

chid

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 8, 2002
Messages
273
Karen
If you have a adult and sling of the same sp I would take them ,It would be good to show them that the little sling grows up to be the large adult.you could explain moulting etc.
Chid
 

MizM

Arachnoprincess
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 13, 2003
Messages
4,918
In my presentation, I include all of my Ts!!

The mean and viscious ones are also my most colorful, I put them in a lucite enclosure and rubber-band them shut. The kids HAVE to have a chance to observe the beauty of a cobalt and a usubara!

I lift the dociles out of their enclosures and show them how they walk, and how gentle they are.

I take one of each species of slings that I have, there is so much disbelief when they see how small a T starts out. I remove them and hold them up if they are handleable.

Then, the last thing before leaving, I take out the rosie-that-won't-bite-no-matter-what, ask the children to line up, and quietly, slowly walk by and touch if they want to. That way, I supervise each child as they are touching and the teacher can easily direct them to line up at the sink and wash their hands after.

I also do my whole presentation over a desk with a big piloow on it!!!

Good luck and HAVE A GREAT TIME!
 

Olan

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 23, 2002
Messages
744
As someone who was introduced to tarantulas in middle school, I can vouch for the impact that you will have on these kids. It has been 12 years now and my love of tarantulas has only grown stronger.

Nature teaches beasts to know their friends. Coriolanus. Act ii. Sc. 1.
 

Frostbyte

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 31, 2002
Messages
328
No way Id let all those kids touch ANY T , just for that fact that if that particular T is havin a bad day and you get that 1 kid that sets it off. It could get ugly all little kids make alot of noise , your T could get spooked . Just my opinion . The way things are today liability is always an issue ! Good Luck !
 

conipto

ArachnoPrincess
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 27, 2002
Messages
1,258
When I did this I took :
B. albopilosum adult (handlable, and fairly big)
A. geniculata near-adult (Flashy coloring)
A. versicolor spiderling (because they rock)
A. avicularia juvenile (to show how arboreals live)

Bring your best book, to pass around, and if you've got it, a good looking exuvium (I had to borrow one since I throw mine away, thanks Art :)) I let people "handle" my curly, but only after giving the warning that there is always a chance it could bite (most of the parents were there too). When I say "handle" I mean walk from my hand, over theirs, and onto my other hand, on top of a table. That was about as far as I was willing to go with that. Joy's right on everyone of her questions and comments you'll recieve :)

Bill
 
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