a sure cure for arachnophobia {freebie}

each year I hand this poem out a poem to my kids called A Murder in the Garden {freebie at the end}and they think I am all kinds of crazy! What kind of teacher gives out a poem about murder to seven year olds!

Well, maybe a teacher who lets you hold a tarantula!


Yep, I finally let the students pet Hairyette. They were so excited. Only three students kind of stayed back out of the way. And one eventually couldn't help themselves and came over with us. Since we are in the midst of a measurement unit and spiders I figured it had to be done!

Of course I started with my recess gloves on. Then I loosened up and just let her crawl on me sans gloves. The kids know a fall can kill this fragile pet and were very good about not bombarding me. Even though we know they are covered in hair, they were still shocked at how soft she is.


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After a minute or two we started measuring. Her legs are 2" long, her cephalothorax is about 1" across, and her total body length is 4". Just a little gal! And I just impressed you with my bog words didn't I?! Well, I impressed the kiddos today too. I told them I spent my weekend writing an arachnid book for our class and learned all kinds of new information. Like daddy long legs are not poisonous-we already knew that they aren't spiders, but harvestman. I had heard they were super poisonous but their mouths were too small to bite a human.

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and here’s where she ended up! Why do all animals go into hair?? I was really trying to prevent a fall {ignore the bad hair day today!}

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If you wanna impress your kiddos, snag my little arachnid love mini pack!

and grab the Murder in the Garden poem for free!

and my arachnids need love Venn for free too

I hate recreating the wheel and so many of you amazing bloggers have already made bat and spider units, so I sure wasn't going to!


  1. Oh my goodness! I am squirming on my couch just looking at the pictures!!!! You are one brave teacher! I always teach my students to pick up a spider that is on the floor with a piece of paper or somehting, and then let it "go" outside, but this takes the respect for little critters to the next level! Way to go!
    Love it!!!
    :) Melissa

  2. Rachel,
    I have a Rose-Haired Tarantula in my classroom as well, but I haven't been brave enough to hold him as of yet :o( Your post has inspired me to try it out! How long did it take you to get the courage to hold her and what was your process? I would love to hear how that went for you so I can get there SOON!!! Thanks!

    1. I had her for almost 5 years! It took a long time. I was just thinking the other night how the kids aren't afraid of her at all because they know so much about them. What was I worried about!? I just did it. We'd been knee deep in spiders the past week and after making that darn little mini-book I felt like an expert. I knew nothing could happen to me!
      I put on my gloves {I've only touched her twice before and both times got really itchy}, scooped her up and sat her on my legs so I wouldn't drop her. After she started making her way up, I had to take them off because I didn't think I'd be able to get her grip off my sweater! One of my girls ended up scooping her off my shoulder because she was burying herself in my hair.

    2. Well, I guess that after five years I will bit the bullet :o) Just Kidding. I have had mine for two years and haven't been brave yet. We will see. Can you tell me how you keep water in her tank at all times? I struggle with keeping it moist during weekends/breaks...otherwise I LOVE LOVE LOVE having her for a pet!

    3. I actually do not worry about it. I keep water in her dish {which is pretty deep and I laid rocks in it to prevent cricket suicide} I do not even have a heater with the spider because I moved it to the scorpion. And I left all my animals in the room over the summer and came in to drop crickets in every other week.

    4. I would LOVE to see a picture of your tank! I think my tank is pretty cute, it is just the water situation that makes it hard to have him as a pet. If you don't mind, would you send one to me? My e-mail address is nielsonfamily6 @ charter.net Or, if you have an iPad, you could send it via iMessages (so much easier to share pictures that way, isn't it!!!) I would love to send you our pet pictures! Thanks, Rachel!

  3. I'll stick with holding the molts I think...lol! Love this post! Know your kiddos loved the day! I'm not even sure our P would let us have a spider as a pet....hmmm...I'll just stick to my fluffy guinea pig, Blossom:)

    4th Grade Frolics


notes to the teacher

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