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Read the Following Selection
Read about spiders, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.
Big and Small
There are many different kinds of spiders. Most spiders that you see are quite small. Some are so tiny that they are hard to see. The largest spider is as big as a dinner plate! You won’t run into this kind of spider unless you go to a forest in South America.
Spiders’ bodies make thin threads called silk. The threads of silk are very sticky. Spiders use the silk to build a web. Webs are how spiders catch insects to eat. When an insect flies into a web, it tries to get away but it can’t. The insect will be the spider’s lunch!Spiders can’t see very well. How does a spider know when there is an insect in its web? The insect pulls the web as it tries to get away. The spider can feel the web moving, so it knows there is an insect caught in the web. There are some spiders that do not build webs. They have other ways of catching food.
Are Spiders Insects?
Many people think spiders are insects. Why? Most spiders and most insects are very small creatures, and both spiders and insects have more than two legs. But spiders are not insects. Insects have six legs, and spiders have eight legs. Also, insects have wings. There are no spiders that have wings.
How Spiders Help Us
Spiders eat many insects people don’t like, such as mosquitoes and fleas. Spiders also eat insects that can harm farmers’ crops. Scientists are investigating ways to make new medicines from spiders.
Now, show what you know!
Complete some questions about the reading selection by clicking “Begin Questions” below.
Brain Stretch: Watch an Internet video showing a spider building a web!
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1. The largest kind of spider lives in what area of South America?CorrectIncorrect
2. When an insect flies into a spider web, why can’t the insect escape by walking or flying away?CorrectIncorrect
A cause is something that makes something happen. It answers the question “why did this happen.”
An effect is what happened as a result of the cause. It answers the question “what happened.”
3. Which sentence tells the cause? Which sentence tells the effect? Drag each sentence to the correct spot.
- The insect tugs at the web as it tries to get away.
- The spider knows an insect is caught in the web.
4. What is one way that spiders and insects are the same?CorrectIncorrect
5. Spiders are insects.CorrectIncorrect