My daughter, the entomologist

JumpingSpiderLady

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My six year old holding Philys, the Chinese mantis. She's not afraid of critters at all. (Kindly ignore my messy house. We were working on habitats.) image.jpeg
 

JumpingSpiderLady

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Encourage her to keep learning! The world needs more entomolgists! :)
Absolutely! I am homeschooling her and for science, we are currently doing an in depth study of insects. We just went over complete and incomplete lifecycles, so I'm hoping Philys is gravid and will give us viable eggs.
 

The Snark

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Many congrats! MUCH MUCH. Good on you. Both my brother and his wife homeschooled both of their daughters. A major leg up above the average education of public schooled kids.

PS Throw out the rule book when it comes to home schooling. Kids often start college prep course well before the age of 10.
 

The Snark

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A Nephila teaching my friends 5 and 7 yr old kids how comb footed spiders walk outside of their webs.
 

BobBarley

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When I was in Taiwan, my 6 year old sister held a wild Tenodera sinensis for a while... We need like a 6 year olds entomology club!:rofl:
 

chanda

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That is wonderful! Kids and bugs are such a natural combination - and a wonderful way to introduce kids to basic scientific principles and methods. I teach summer school classes about bugs and spiders for elementary and middle school students and do classroom presentations during the year. I can honestly say that working with the kids and seeing their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn is one of the most rewarding things I do.

Keep up the good work with your daughter!
 

BobBarley

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That is wonderful! Kids and bugs are such a natural combination - and a wonderful way to introduce kids to basic scientific principles and methods. I teach summer school classes about bugs and spiders for elementary and middle school students and do classroom presentations during the year. I can honestly say that working with the kids and seeing their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn is one of the most rewarding things I do.

Keep up the good work with your daughter!
Lol, got any pointers? I'm 13 moving up to 8th grade, and my previous teacher (7th grade) wants me to teach her class about arachnids/insects/inverts in general later. I'm preparing some preserved specimens for display and I'll bring part of my collection. But school hasn't started yet, so no rush lol.
 

chanda

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Lol, got any pointers? I'm 13 moving up to 8th grade, and my previous teacher (7th grade) wants me to teach her class about arachnids/insects/inverts in general later. I'm preparing some preserved specimens for display and I'll bring part of my collection. But school hasn't started yet, so no rush lol.
That's fantastic! What a great opportunity for you - and for the 7th graders. You must have really impressed your teacher last year for her to ask you to do that.

What sort of things were you planning on teaching them?
 

The Snark

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What always delights me is the combination of an inquisitive kid and an authority involved in a learning experience. A 'let's learn this together' where you have the respect of the child.
For example the Nephila on the kid's hand in the above picture. I handled the spider with the utmost gentleness, demonstrating an animal not feeling threatened and thus not acting defensive or threatening in it's own right. The kids watch and I became a platform for the spider to walk on, making all my movements in studied slow motion.
Once the kids got a grip on the slow and gentle I introduced the spider to their hands. It was nothing short of enthralling to watch the kids as they watched the spider, being ever so careful to not upset or alarm her. The kids were mesmerized, hanging on my every word as I explained the basic traits and daily life of the animal and in turn they mesmerized me by their attentiveness.
Always remember, during the formative years a child is taking in more information each minute than a 60 year old takes in PER YEAR.
 
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BobBarley

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That's fantastic! What a great opportunity for you - and for the 7th graders. You must have really impressed your teacher last year for her to ask you to do that.

What sort of things were you planning on teaching them?
Well our science book barely covers arachnids and I feel that a lot of the info is wrong. (They said spiders have poison in the textbook) I just wanted to go over a bit of anatomy some general facts (like NW or OW t's, their metabolism, etc. etc.) and hopefully help people overcome arachnophobia.
 

Vanessa

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I love mantids!! I don't see them enough around here, although we have been seeing more since wide-spread pesticide use was banned. Plus, I think they're a species that has cycles of larger populations some years. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on that.
I saved a little one from work and brought him home overnight to give him some water. He was out on the wall of my building, in the middle of a gasoline yard, on the hottest day of the year. No trees in the immediate vicinity.
I brought him back the next morning and released him in a wooded area very close to where I found him. He cooperated by allowing me to take some photos of him.
I remember being interested in insects very early on. I was collecting them as far back as I remember. Now look at me... I'm a certifiable bug nerd!!
Here is my little guy...
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highres_441753928.jpg
 

JumpingSpiderLady

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I love mantids!! I don't see them enough around here, although we have been seeing more since wide-spread pesticide use was banned. Plus, I think they're a species that has cycles of larger populations some years. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on that.
I saved a little one from work and brought him home overnight to give him some water. He was out on the wall of my building, in the middle of a gasoline yard, on the hottest day of the year. No trees in the immediate vicinity.
I brought him back the next morning and released him in a wooded area very close to where I found him. He cooperated by allowing me to take some photos of him.
I remember being interested in insects very early on. I was collecting them as far back as I remember. Now look at me... I'm a certifiable bug nerd!!
Here is my little guy...
View attachment 217502
View attachment 217503
He's so cute! That's similar to how my inlaws found Philys. She was on the side of a Sonic. Probably feasting on moths. Gave her a grasshopper when they handed her over to me. She only ate the head. I've never found myself wanting to eat an insect, but I found myself thinking, "what a waste of food."
 

Vanessa

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Sorry, I should have mentioned that this is a Mantis religiosa.
 

ratluvr76

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I am absolutely captivated by mantids. Their little faces are adorable and they way they hold their front legs up...

Several years ago now, I was living in North Carolina in an old farm house. I was on my computer at the time and i kept feeling little tickling sensations on my arms and legs. I tried to ignore it, I was very preoccupied in a raid in wow. I finally looked down at my arm and low and behold I had what must have been a hundred little tiny mantids on me. They were all over me, my computer desk, my computer monitor.. honestly, I'm not sure how I didn't see them before I looked down LOL. My husband and I had a very busy afternoon capturing them all and taking them outside where they could be freeeeeee :)
 

chanda

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Well our science book barely covers arachnids and I feel that a lot of the info is wrong. (They said spiders have poison in the textbook) I just wanted to go over a bit of anatomy some general facts (like NW or OW t's, their metabolism, etc. etc.) and hopefully help people overcome arachnophobia.
Sounds great! A few things I've found helpful with arachnophobic students include bringing in a spiderling/juvenile because they're small, cute, and non-threatening; showing a molt progression so the kids can see how even a big, intimidating spider starts off small; giving cute or silly names to some of the spiders; and letting the kids touch or hold a molt. Also, when trying to explain how the spider can be so much bigger after a molt than before, I'll do a demonstration with two balloons. I stuff a regular balloon inside a water balloon and blow up the regular balloon then twist (don't tie) the neck of the regular balloon so the air doesn't escape. The kids can feel the surface of the water balloon - how it is stretched tight and can't inflate further without bursting. This represents the old exoskeleton that is too small. With a small pair of scissors I'll carefully cut the water balloon - it usually doesn't take much before it just splits and pops off. Then I can inflate the regular balloon further and explain how, immediately after molting, the new exoskeleton is still soft and flexible and can be expanded with air and body fluids to reach its new size before it hardens. Another demonstration that the kids really like is when I'm explaining to them how webs/trip lines can be used to catch/detect prey, I'll take a piece of string or fishing line and get a couple of the kids to hold it stretched tight between them, then tap or pluck the line so they can feel the vibrations. Try different types of touches, from a light brush to violent grabbing and shaking to rhythmic tapping, so they can see how the spider has a pretty good idea of what is on the other end of that line before it goes out there - and that it will ignore certain touches if it feels like it's something that's too big for prey and might be a potential threat or if it's just an incidental touch like a falling leaf.
 
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