In the end, there was only one way in which my spider class sucked: it sucked my day up.
Or a big chunk of it, anyway. I was in the kids’ section at the library by 10:30 this morning, cramming arachnid trivia from books like “Amazing Spiders,” “Spiders!” and “Aaaargh! Spider!” (Did you know that arachnids shoot a fang-like thing into their prey and liquify their innards before they ingest them? Sort of like buggy slurpies? Yum.)
Anyway. Then there was the prep: ninety minutes of it before class. I know. I’m compulsive. Then clean up was ninety minutes after. More compulsiveness. Plus, glitter is a bitch. I won’t make that mistake again.
And, of course, the class itself, from 12:30 to 2:30.
During which we:
- Read three spider books.
- Listened to three spider songs. (One of them was obvious:”Itsy Bitsy Spider,” but I offered a more unexpected choice, too: “Boris the Spider” by the Who. The third was a verbose, obscure, and quite horrid selection called “What is a Spider?” from a kids’ CD I found on Amazon. It sounded, as Mike observed, like Pat Boone mixed with an Ira Flatow podcast. No one listened to that one.
- Made baby spiders out of egg carton cups, foam balls, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, sparkles, paint and glue.
- Made a “Mama spider” out of a trash can liner and an inverted TJ’s bag.
- Spun “webs” around the classroom–otherwise known as wasting a lot of perfectly good yarn.
The kids seemed to have a great time, no one got hurt, and, best of all, I had the thrill of hearing a five-year-old girl exclaim to one of her friends: “look! I have a spinneret coming out of my butt!”
Ah, the pedagogical life.