Spider Web Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Elizabeth Hance

Elizabeth has taught elementary and middle school special education, and has a master's degree in reading education.

In this lesson you will learn facts about one of the most amazing things in nature: the spider web. Read on to find out how spiders weave their webs and what exactly they look like.

Worldwide Webs!

When you hear the words 'worldwide web,' you might be thinking about the Internet and all the interesting sites you can visit. But there is a remarkable animal weaving real webs all around our world: spiders! Spiders can live on any continent except Antarctica, and most of them make amazing creations called webs. These webs act like their homes, but they also do much more. In this lesson you will learn all about the incredible webs that spiders can weave.

How To Make a Web

Chances are you've walked into a spider web, or swatted one off your arm. It probably felt sticky, but flimsy. In fact, spiders have a special liquid in their body that they can turn into silk, the material with which they make their webs. The silk is actually incredibly strong, stronger even than steel!

On the spider's abdomen, or belly, are tubes called spinnerets. Spiders press the spinneret against an object, and liquid silk comes out. As air touches the silk, it hardens into a very strong thread. Then the spider can connect it to different surfaces, like a branch or a fence post. The spiders often use a breeze to help get their string where they want it to go. Afterward, they can move across the string and make their next strand of silk. Some spiders will build a new web every day!

Types of Webs

When you picture a spider web, you probably picture the large, round ones that you may have seen outside. In fact, there are several different types of spider webs. Different species of spiders weave webs of different shapes, including orb webs, tangle webs, sheet webs, and funnel webs.

A spider weaves a large orb web
spider web

Orb webs are the beautiful, circular webs that many spiders weave. There are over two thousand species of spiders that weave orb webs. They start their web with a 'Y' shape, and then add the silk in a spiral shape that will help catch insects for them to eat.

Tangle webs are different from orb webs because they are not flat. They are sometimes called cobwebs. Their webs look messy, more like clumps of silk, and are not as sticky as orb webs.

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