Interview a Spider

Learning Target OR Standards & Connections
  • NS.5-8.3 Structure and function in living systems (Reproduction and heredity, regulation and behavior, populations and ecosystems, diversity and adaptations of organisms)
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Essential Outcome(s) Level(s)
Students will…

  • gain an appreciation for different species of spiders, learn how to conduct an interview. They will also practice listening, taking notes and speaking.
5th-8th Grade
  1. Select & Assign Spiders: First, introduce to student basic facts about spiders including body structure/parts, how they are different from insects, how they spin webs, how they use venom, how they are important to the ecosystem, etc.
  2. Research: Once students have selected a spider (more than one student can select a particular species), they will learn as much as they can about that species. Key facts will include the spider’s natural habitat, distinguishing features and behaviors, diet and impact on society. Each student should take notes on his/her spider, but whenever possible, kids should avoid “looking down” at these notes during the later interview.
  3. Pair Up: This part of the lesson involves a variation on the Think-Pair-Share instructional strategy. Once all of the students are familiar with their particular spider, pair them up with a partner who has learned about a different species. Have students take turns interviewing each other about their spiders.
  4. Record: Using a blank template in Soundtrap, have the students record each other. Optional – add sound effects and or appropriate music to set the tone. 
  5. Share: Using the export function within Soundtrap, share the student’s interviews via social media or your class website. 
Extended Learning
  1. Once the interviews are complete, ask each student to write a short report on his/her partner’s spider based solely on the information gleaned during the interview.


The author of this is Meredith Allen. Prior to joining the Soundtrap team, Meredith served as an Instructional Technology Consultant at Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency in Iowa.  Preceding her consulting, Meredith taught instrumental music, K-7 technology and facilitated a district’s Virtual Reality Education Pathfinders program. She also served on their District Leadership Team, served as the district’s Technology Integrationist, and assisted with implementation of the district’s 1:1 computing initiative.Meredith has a Master’s of Science in Technology for Education and Training and participated in the 2016 Iowa cohort of the national Teacher Leadership Initiative.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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