Who are the champion spinners of the animal world?

Spiders, of course!

Watch the web movie to see a spider weave a circular, or orb web.

Web Building Step by Step

Did you enjoy the film? You can see that spiders really know a lot about spinning a web. Spiders are not taught how to do this, but are born with the instinct.

If you were a spider, do you think you could follow Anansi's directions to make an orb web?

Here is how the spider made its orb web, step by step.

Bridge line.

The spider makes a bridge line between two objects such as branches. The spider strengthens the bridge with more strands of silk.

Anchor line

The spider attaches an anchor line and drops downward to anchor it. The "y" shape is the 3 radial lines of the web.

Silk framework

The spider adds a framework of silk.

More radial lines

The spider adds additional radial lines. These go from the center to the outer frame of the web.

Dry silk spiral

Starting in the center, the spider spins a spiral of dry silk. The silk spiral holds the radial lines apart.

Sticky spiral

Then the spider reverses direction and lays down a sticky spiral. The spider ends up in the middle and waits for prey to get stuck.

Instead of clearing away spider webs, have you ever thought of collecting them? Many beautiful orb webs can be seen in your yard or garden from early spring through late fall. Orb webs are fun to collect, preserve, and mount for display. Here is how to collect and preserve a spider orb webs.

 

What You Need

Hair Spray
White Spray Paint
Black Poster Board
Plastic Wrap

Safety

Do this activity with an adult. Read the safety instructions on the paint can. Follow the instructions.

Find a web

Look around you -- there are webs everywhere. When you find one you want to capture, be sure to chase the spider out of the web.

Spray the web

Hold the can of white spray paint about 12 inches from the web at an angle.

Spray on both sides two or three times.

 

Build up a thick coating

Make sure that the web has a thick, even coating of spray paint.

You can also spray the poster board with hair spray. This makes the board a little sticky so that the web will cling better.

Capture the web

Position your poster board behind the web.

Slowly and carefully pull the poster board against the web -- capturing the web on the board.

Preserve the web

After the paint is dry, preserve your web by covering it with clear plastic wrap.

You can even frame your web!

Go Further

1. Go on a Web Safari around your home, school, or neighborhood. See how many different kinds of webs you can find.

2. Report the webs that you found on the Safari Survey.