Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11345

What has eight legs and flies? Spiders, who have flies for dinner! Spiders and their relatives are everywhere, but that's good! Find out why spiders are our friends; watch a video and make a chart!


Life Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

  • Are you afraid of spiders?

Most people are!

  • Did you know spiders should not be feared, because they help humans?

They eat up all the disease-carrying mosquitoes that buzz around living things and bite them!

spider eyes

Arachnid is just another way to describe a spider, scorpion, tick, or mite.

All spiders, ticks, and scorpions are arthropods. An arthropod is an animal that is an invertebrate.

  • Do you know what an invertebrate is?

An invertebrate is an animal that does not have a backbone. You are a vertebrate — you have a backbone. Arachnids do not have a backbone.

There's a spider on your screen!

  • Do you see the spider below?

Count the legs on the spider. How many legs does one spider have?

spider legs

That's right! Spiders have eight legs.

All eight of their legs have joints. Their joints allow them to bend their legs. Think of a spider's joints like eight knees. Their bendable legs help them climb, spin webs, walk, run, jump, and catch prey!

Scorpions also have eight legs.

Count the legs on the scorpion below. Ticks and mites also have eight legs.

  • What would you do if you woke up with eight legs?

scorpion legs

Spiders are the most well-known arachnids.

Spiders usually have four eyes, but some spiders have more. Spiders live in webs and sometimes in burrows.

Spiders spin webs. Their webs are made out of sticky silk. This sticky silk captures insects that fly or fall into the web.

When the web moves, the spider feels the movement and goes to capture its prey! Sometimes spiders wrap their prey up in their web and save it for later if they are not hungry.

There are many different types of webs. Spiral orb webs, funnel webs, tangle webs, and sheet webs are all types of webs that are made by spiders.

Move the white slider beneath the images below to check out some amazing webs:

  • Which web would you make if you were a spider? Why?

Scorpions are arachnids, too!

They have eight legs.

One thing that makes scorpions dangerous is their tail! Scorpions have a venom-injecting barb at the end of their tail. They use their venom for hunting and to defend themselves.

Just like all arachnids, scorpions have a protective exoskeleton.

scorpion tail

Another type of arachnid is a tick.

Ticks have eight legs.

They are parasites. They feed off the blood of living things.

There are two types of ticks: soft ticks and hard ticks. Soft ticks can be found on birds and in caves. Hard ticks are often found in the forest.

Ticks carry diseases like Lyme disease.

  • Did you know ticks can live up to 200 days without food or water?

That's one resilient arachnid!

Before moving on to the next section, say out lout how many legs all arachnids have, and how all the arachnids in this lesson get their food.

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