CM Archive
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KED Research Associates, 1982.
Audiotape. 1-10 min. cassette. $14.95.
(1. Tarantulas! 2. Spider Myths & Superstitions).
Includes teacher's guide. Distributed by Learning Tree.

Grades 4-6.
Reviewed by Alma Webster.

Volume 10 Number 4.
1982 November.

With the assistance of music and dramatic sound effects, the narrator provides information about tarantulas. On side 1, the emphasis is on the bird-eating tarantula, its habitat, food, enemies, defenses, size, age and some physical characteristics. On side 2, the narrator recounts briefly a number of myths and superstitions about spiders and tarantulas: how the name came from the Italian village of Taranto and how the tarantella dance developed in the belief that the effects of the spider's bite could be overcome by a lengthy whirling dance. The legends of the Greek Arachne, the first spider, the Navajo Spider Woman, and the African white spider are each briefly and dramatically presented. A number of interesting superstitions and beliefs are relayed, such as the use of cobwebs to stop bleeding, spider necklace for fever, prediction of rain, of gold, good or bad luck.

The teacher's guide includes "Objectives," "Introduction," "Presentation," "Reference," "Retention" (outline), and "Activities." Four pages are suggested for removal and mounting for use at the listening centre.

The three stated objectives relate to language arts: motivation, oral information, and listening skills, all of which are adequately met. There are some possibilities for introductory use in science, although the details are sketchy and incomplete. The "mounting" pages would require dismantling the entire guide. For this purpose, separate pages in an envelope or at the end of the guide would be preferable. In this case, they are better left as is, the sketches on page 1 are rather primitive; none of the five drawings look particularly like a spider, and only one is discussed in the body of the tape. The recording and narration are excellent, interesting, and easy-to-follow. The packaging is inexpensive and easy to shelve, if only some method had been devised to hold the guide! Purchase will depend on the need for good auditory material and budgetary considerations.

Alma Webster, Edmonton Public School Board, Edmonton, AB.
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