A WebQuest for 3rd Grade (Science/Language Arts)

Designed by

Heidi Irvine and Wes Dutcher

Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Teacher Page


Today you are going to become an arachnologist, which is a person who studies spiders. Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be a spider? Where do they live? Do they all make webs? What do they eat? Well you are about to find out! In the following WebQuest you will be exploring information to help answer these questions and more. We hope you have fun and remember to report back to us with all your exciting discoveries! 


The Task

You are going to be researching and discovering fun and interesting facts about spiders. You will be learning spider vocabulary, researching different species and answering different questions about their anatomy, habitat, webs, and prey. You will also be writing about a spider you studied using the vocabulary you learned, and we will also be testing your knowledge of the species you chose to make sure you are on the right path to becoming a great arachnologist. Let's get started!


The Process

1) Before you begin exploring spiders you need to know and understand some spider vocabulary words that you might come across in your research. These are some words you need to become familiar with: arachnid, habitat, molting, spiderlings, silk, prey, and spinnerets. Now click on the link below, this will take you to a dictionary search box. In the box type in each of the spider vocabulary words and then hit GO! On a sheet of paper write down the definition of the word. If you come across a word you do not know while researching please come back to this and use it.    

Fact Monster - Dictionary Search Page

2) Now that you are equipped with some new vocabulary words, Let's study spiders! First pick whether or not you want to study about Web Weaving Spiders or Non-Web Weaving Spiders. Then under those headings click a species you would like to research. This will take you to an internet site where you can find out lots of information on your spider. While exploring take notes about your spider. Make sure you can answer questions about the spider's habitat, food, web-type, and other interesting facts. Feel free to search beyond the links below.

  Web Weaving Spiders               Non-Web Weaving Spiders

        Garden Spider                          Wolf Spider

         Black Widow                           Tarantula

         Brown Recluse                        Jumping Spider

3) Anatomy of a Spider: Please take a look at the following link. Make sure you study each part of the spider. To become an expert arachnologist you need to be able to label the parts of a spider.

Spider Anatomy

4) Now that you have researched your spider please write in your journal your findings. Please include a picture with your writing. Make sure to remember to use the spider vocabulary you learned earlier.

5) Now that you are an expert arachnologist see how much you know about your spider. Click below to test your knowledge! Please print out both quizzes and fill out with pencil.

 Expert Arachnologist Quiz

Spider Anatomy Quiz


6) After all the hard work you have done you deserve a break. Click on the links below to work on some fun spider puzzles and word searches.

Puzzle 1

Puzzle 2

Word Search 1 (Print Out)

Word Search 2 (Print Out)




You will be evaluated on how well you understand the basics of spiders.

Beginning 1
Developing 2
Accomplished 3
Exemplary 4
 Quiz reflects minimal understanding of spiders. Want to know questions not answered accurately.
Quiz reflects some understanding of spiders by listing three accurate facts. Three out of seven questions answered accurately.
Quiz reflects an understanding of spiders by listing five accurate facts. Five out of seven questions answered accurately.
Quiz reflects thorough understanding of spiders by listing more than six accurate facts. All questions answered accurately.
Internet Research Facts
One Internet fact listed correctly.
Three Internet facts listed correctly.
Five Internet facts listed correctly.
More than five Internet facts listed correctly.
Identifying and Understanding the Spider
Can identify that spiders have eight legs and up to eight eyes.
Can identify four parts of a spider using correct terminology and can explain the use of at least two parts.
Can identify six parts of a spider using correct terminology and can explain the use of each part.
Can identify eight parts of a spider using correct terminology and can explain the use of each part.
Presentation/Journal Writing
Student was not willing to share their spider or information learned with the class.
Student presented a correctly labeled spider but did not share any information.
Student presented a correctly labeled spider and shared accurate information.
Student presented a correctly labeled spider and shared accurate information that had not been discussed in class.


We hope you had fun learning about spiders. If you want to learn more about another spider, please feel free to start from the beginning and choose another species. Visit the sites below if you are interested in learning about other spider species than the ones we studied.

Spiders-Australian Museum Online

The Arachnology Home Page

Credits & References








Last updated on February 28, 2005. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page