Webs of all Kinds
A Web For Spider Man
At morning meeting while making our plans for the day, Ford shared that he wanted to make a web for Spider Man. We asked him how he might do that and he responded, “with string.” We helped him gather different kinds of yarn and he began work on the web at the house in the classroom. Other children were intrigued by his project and began helping Ford create the web.
They wrapped yarn around the house in intricate patterns, just as a spider would spin their web. Problem solving began as they tried to capture animals and objects such as small blocks and airplanes in the web. How could they make these objects stay in the web? How could they ensure they wouldn’t fall down?
The giraffe is trapped. - Charlton
While using the yarn, they realized they needed something stickier to capture the objects. Ford suggested they use tape.
The tape is kinda like a spider web. - Ford
The children spent hours over the course of a week, collaborating on ways they could add to the web. They wrote signs to show who had been working on it and to show others what it was.
I’m writing a sign that says do not break it. Remember the spider web thing that we built. That’s the sign. - Charlton
They thought of ways to save the things that had been captured in the web.
I’m saving the airplane with my horsey. It’s trapped. I’m using scissors. - Louisa
The web for Spider Man posed interesting questions about webs and spiders. How do spiders make webs? How do they spin the webs? What patterns and designs do they create? We went to the research shelf to find books about spiders and their webs. The children noticed the spiders and pictures of their webs.
Seon, Charlton and Whit count the legs of a spider.
It looks like a big ocean and there are lines. - Zari
Together we thought of ways we could make all kinds of webs just like the spiders.
Webs of Wire
During this time of Spider Man’s web, the children had also been working with wire in the studio. Wire, although thicker than yarn, is another material that lends itself to wrapping and web-like characteristics. One morning, the children explored a provocation of wire, wire cutters, and books and images of various spider webs.
Zari: Loop it through that one. A web for spiders. It’s around my hand. Help me, my finger’s stuck.
Cal notices the wire web provocation as well: It’s a spider web. I want to make one. I’m gonna make a big one. Around the table. I’m gonna connect this one with that one.
In the studio, children had been tracing large projected leaves. Charlton noticed that the veins of the leaves reminded him of a spider web.
It’s a spider web because of the lines. - Charlton
Although technically small, this noticing was big. Lines make up our world. Lines are in the letters of the words we read, the numerals we write, the shapes which compose the buildings around us, and even the rivers, roads, and trails on a map. Tuning into these fine lines is essential to developing symbolic, mathematical, and geometric thinking. With Charlton’s noticing, we projected a large spider web onto the screen for the children to observe and trace.
What do you notice about the lines?
Ellie: They look like big tracks.
Whit: I see polka dots. Rain polka dots.
Zari: I tracing a spider web. I need some dots.
Fay: It’s the spider. I made another mama spider. It’s almost done, see. We need to do another spider. It’s a spider family. The baby spider. The spider web is all done.
Whit and Zari trace the spider web projection in the studio.
While making a web for spider man, the children recognized that the yarn around the house was like sewing. Although we hadn’t introduced sewing yet in the Rainey Room, many of them had fond memories of it in the Brown Room. We invited the children to sew spider webs using embroidery thread, a needle, and a paper plate with holes punched around the edges. How can you sew a spider web using these materials? Do the web’s lines go around, across or both?
Ava sews a spider web in the outdoor studio.
Naturally, the children asked to sew with real fabric and soon after we began our sewing projects. Keep an eye out for next week’s blog showing more of the children’s sewing creations. We also look forward to observing how the children's interest with investigating spiders and their webs continues to build and evolve.
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