Dalkey School Project N.S.
Spookiness in the Woods
As we get close to Samhain the woods seem spookier. I sent a slideshow to the classes during the week. This made us look for spookiness in our woods.
On our way up to our base the children found spooky branches and vines that come alive at night, lumps and bumps on trees, strange textures colours of fungi, and they noticed that there were many faces and eyes on trees looking at them. Scary stuff!
Break time making tea.
This was our story at break time.
How to Live Life like a spider, by A. Spider
1. If you’re a spinner, spin
Not all spiders spin webs; in fact, only half of us do. Web spinners use silk to ensnare prey. Other species of spiders hunt their victims, or lurk and wait for prey to come to them.
Each type of arachnid is uniquely suited for and adapted to its hunting technique. A web weaver will always weave — it will not decide to suddenly chase its prey on multiple spider feet. A trapdoor spider will always trap. In this way, spiders differ from each other, yet remain true to their spidery selves.
Spider takeaway: If you are a web spinner, keep spinning webs.
2. Walk the line
We spin two types of silk. Dragline (or non-sticky) silk is the architectural support for a web. Stiff and dry, it forms the web’s foundation.
Viscid (or sticky) silk is the tacky, wet, flexible silk that creates the spiral shape of many webs. It’s this stickier silk that snares our prey.
We spin both silks, and understand their differences. When walking our webs, we walk on the draglines, avoiding trapping ourselves on the stickier strands of viscid silk. While not exactly walking the straight and narrow, we realize we must travel on the stronger strands, avoiding entrapping ourselves on the sticky parts.
Spider takeaway: Walk the line, or weave a new path. Revisit or re-route when stuck in sticky spots.
3. Build with beauty
We weave ornate and intricate webs that rival — or exceed — human art. In fact, our name, arachnid, originates in Greek mythology.
Arachne in Greek Mythology was a skilled weaver. Arachne was a mortal woman who challenged Athena to a contest. Her finished tapestries proved superior to the goddess’s, and Arachne was punished, transformed into a spider that could forever weave masterful work.
Spider takeaway: Whenever and however you can, add beauty to the world.
4: Do the work, daily
We are hard workers. We are the world’s most important predator of insects, keeping swarms of pests at bay.
Web-weavers are especially industrious. Most web-building arachnids must build or re-build their webs every day. For us, the larger the web, the greater the energy expenditure. However, the cost-benefit is also high, for the larger the web, the greater the likelihood we will catch large prey — whether in the form of an uncommon insect, a bat, or even a bird!
Though most of us can subsist on two small insects per day, one large catch can provide enough nourishment to allow us to thrive, and even to reproduce. With great spider effort, then, comes great spidery reward.
Spider takeaway: Do your work, daily and you will go far.
Third Class made their own web and spider game.
One person was the spider and the others were flies. There were two teams one at each side of the web. The idea was to clear your side of all flies. Each fly had to go through the web without touching it. If they touched it the spider said Buzz and they had to go back. They loved the game and kept adding to the rules. They want to do this for next week again.
Usually we invite parents to join us at this time of the year. As it is not possible this year the children weaved a bracelet to bring home. With the skills they could make one for each parent.
They loved this skill and as they got in to the rhythm they began to tell round robin scary stories.