Welcome to the Wonderful World of Spiders!
This exercise is meant to serve as a tool to help students learn about the Black Widow Spider. It provides information so students will have a basic understanding about where the Black Widow lives, what it eats, and how it interacts with other spiders. This craft is not only educational but fun to make as well!
- 1 wire hanger
- Fishing line (silver or clear)
- 40 pipe cleaners (black)
- 1 small Styrofoam ball
- 1 large Styrofoam ball
- 3 toothpicks
- Paint (black and red)
- Construction paper (any color)
- 1/2 black pipe cleaner per fly
- White tissue or tissue paper
- Put the three toothpicks into the large ball in the shape of a triangle. Place the small Styrofoam ball on top and press down until balls meet. If the balls do not hold together use glue as a reinforcement.
- Paint Styrofoam balls black.
- While the paint is drying make legs. Take four black pipe cleaners and wrap a fifth one around them. Repeat eight times for eight legs.
- Paint a red hourglass shape on underside of the large Styrofoam ball.
- After body is dry push the legs into the large Styrofoam body. Make sure that there are four legs on each side spread evenly. Use glue if necessary. This is technically not anatomically correct. Real spiders have their legs on the smaller portion of their bodies. However, this does not suit the purpose of this mobile.
- Bend legs in three places for a more realistic look.
- Push a small piece of pipe cleaner into the top of the spider and bend into a loop.
- Bend a wire hanger into a circle. Leave the hook intact.
- Take fishing line and tie pieces across the hanger to form random and unpredictable shapes. Unlike many other spiders the black widow’s web lacks shape and form.
- Take a small piece of fishing line and attach to the spider web using the loop made in step seven.
- Print out the fact sheet below. Cut facts into separate pieces. Glue the facts to both sides of pieces of construction paper, so that you have eight separate pieces with facts on either side.
- Tape pieces of fishing line to the top of the fact cards. Tie each piece of a string to a different leg. Vary the lengths of the fishing line so that each card is easily seen.
- You are now done. However, if you wish to include flies continue reading.
- For Flies: Take half a pipe cleaner and wrap it tightly around the end of a pencil. Remove from pencil and take a small piece of tissue and place between coils. Use glue if necessary.© spider2Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
By: Nima and Brennen
Information on the Internet
- Black Widow Spiders and Other Spiders of Medical Importance This page contains many links to other pages about black widows
- ThinkQuest Black Widow Spiders from the genus Latrodectus are referred to as black widows, especially the species Latrodectus mactans.
- Latrodectus - Black Widows A list of links to different sites that provide information on black widows with a description of the information and the organization that sponsors each site.