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Use Nature Photos as Lesson Plans

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I was out mowing the lawn, which has a ditch running through the whole backyard, when I saw this creature run out of a hole in the side of the ground. I immediately knew what it was, but it looked so strange! It could only be a wolf spider mommy with lots of babies on her back. Wolf spiders are solitary and they don't make webs, but they hunt and hide in holes. They carry their young on their back.
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I didn't want to miss out on this picture, so I sat down beside her looking at her, and and aimed my camera. The photo came out very well because the wolf spider cooperated by not running off. Most of my experiences with photographing wild animals do not turn out as good as this picture did.

I immediately knew what I would do with this picture. :) I am going to make a photo album, and entitle it 'Our Amazing World' with fun lesson plans to go with it. There will be hand-drawn pictures of the spider for children to color. There will be a printed out 'S' which goes along with the theme of a spider, for children to trace. I will include a hand made puzzle, of the photograph cut into six pieces, for children to solve. I will also include a couple of facts about wolf spiders, and write them in cursive for children to trace. There will be a plastic storage bag in the photo album with little spiders cut out of poster board and little cards with the numbers one through ten. These will act as a matching game. If I can find them, I will include those little plastic Halloween spiders so that children can play with them.

It is so fun to make themed lesson plans, which are fun for children, and for me, it always starts as a photo. Normally I would make some sort of puppet to go along with a theme like this, but I thought a puppet of a spider would not go over to well, since it might scare the children.

I plan on offering this to our local school to see if they might like to have it. If they don't want it, I will send it in the loop of home-school curriculum so that younger children can enjoy the experience of science, and nature in their home-school curriculum. Spiders do play a part in our ecosystems, and should be respected, of course, but also enjoyed. This mom was obviously taking care of children herself, and did us the wonderful favor of letting me photograph her!

We are having cooler weather over here near Elizabethton, TN and I am loving it!

Blessings to all.

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