Spiders By Night: An Outdoor Investigation Integrating NGSS

(1 review)


This peer reviewed experiment for high school students takes advantage of the unique morphology of wolf spiders to perform field studies at night.


The reflective membrane on the eyes of a wolf spider causes a glow in the dark when hit with light. Using this, students can estimate the number of wolf spiders in an area. Population density can be compared in an undeveloped field to a typical backyard. This peer reviewed paper also includes good practices for NCSS experiment planning and tips on collecting equipment on a budget.

PDF Version (includes a sample grading rubric): https://www.researchgate.net/publication/336061953_Spiders_by_Night_An_Outdoor_Investigation_Integrating_Next_Generation_Science_Standards

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Grade Level


NGSS STEM Practices

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Standards Present


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Text/Web Page

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Reviews (1)

1 review for Spiders By Night: An Outdoor Investigation Integrating NGSS

  1. LessonHiveAdmin

    This is a very nice exercise for students to observe spiders in and around their homes and schools at night. The focus is on having students develop and test their own hypotheses. Review questions are included, and a sample hypothesis that spider density would be different between habitats. The lesson was tested with 8th graders and 5th graders; the authors concluded this works better with older students. Assessment strategies and a grading rubric are included.

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