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avanna Spider loves science! After a rocky start to her first day of school, Savanna will have to think like a scientist to get through the day. Follow Savanna as she learns all about her friends at Arthur O. Pod Elementary School. Kids will love reading this story so much they won’t even realize they are learning science at the same time. “Science behind the Story” sidebars throughout the book explain the real science behind this fun and engaging story about a little spider scientist. Kids will learn it is never too early to be curious and look at the world through the eyes of science.

Dustin J. Wilgers

This This publication publication is is funded funded in in part part by by the the Chickadee Chickadee Checkoff Checkoff of of the the Nongame Nongame Wildlife Wildlife Improvement Improvement Program Program of of the the Kansas Kansas Department Department of of Wildlife, Wildlife, Parks, Parks, and and Tourism. Tourism.

Savanna Spider, Super Scientist, Goes to School

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, S r u e p d e i p r S Scie a n n n a t v i a S Goes to School st

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Dustin J. Wilgers Illustrated by Nate Knott

Book

1 in the Science Saves the Day Series


Dustin J. Wilgers Illustrated by Nate Knott


Chapters First Day of School … 1 Arthur O. Pod Elementary School … 10 Class Diplopoda … 14 Class Malacostraca … 21 Class Insecta … 28 Class Arachnida … 38 More Science behind the Story … 44

This story personifies the arthropod characters and makes them behave in some ways that they can’t and don’t behave naturally. However, there are several examples of real biology behind the story and some of the characters’ behaviors. Look for the  symbols throughout the story along with the “Science behind the Story” section at the back of the book that highlight some of these interesting science facts.


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First Day of School

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UZZZZZZZ!!!!! Savanna Spider jumped out of her web hammock so quickly that she bumped into the

microscope beside her bed and knocked over a bowl that held this crazy-weird bug she found in her backyard yesterday. She rubbed all eight of her eyes to see if she could find it crawling across the floor, but it was too late. She would have to wait to find her specimen and figure out exactly what it was another time, because today was a big day.

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Dustin J. Wilgers

“Hurry downstairs for breakfast. I made your favorite, a fabulous fly smoothie!” her mom shouted from the kitchen. Because spiders lack teeth, they consume their food, which is sometimes larger than they are, by liquefying it outside their mouths with their stomach acid and then sucking up the juices. They are essentially drinking a “prey smoothie” when they eat, just like Savanna did for breakfast.


Savanna Spider, Super Scientist, Goes to School

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Sitting at the table sipping her smoothie, Savanna tapped her feet, all eight of them, to her favorite song. Before long, her dad joined in across the table, singing, “. . . out came the sun and dried up all the rain.” The whole family joined together for their favorite part, “Then the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout agaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnn.” “Savanna,” her dad said with a smile, “I can’t believe my cute little spiderling is old enough to be in school! Let’s try to avoid doing any experiments on your first day, and don’t start anything on fire. Okay, my little scientist?” Savanna nodded. “Some days I’m surprised our house is still standing after this summer.” Her dad said, grinning at her. “Most importantly though, make sure to be good, have


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Dustin J. Wilgers

fun, and learn a lot! Now hurry upstairs and put your shoes on so you won’t be late.” Savanna scrambled to her closet to find her favorite outfit, her lab coat, and her favorite four pairs of shoes. To her surprise, all of her shoelaces were gone. “MOM!!!!” Savanna screamed, “All of my silk shoelaces are missing from my shoes!”


Savanna Spider, Super Scientist, Goes to School

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She ran across the hall to find her older brother, Woody. “Do you know what happened to my shoelaces?” “Sorry, Savanna. We were out of flies last night, and I was really hungry for a snack.” “Ugghh… You can’t be serious! Now what am I going to wear to my first day of school!” Savanna cried. “Now Woody,” their mother said calmly, “I know how your father and I encourage recycling, but that doesn’t mean eating your sister’s shoelaces. Don’t worry Savanna, I can spin you some new laces in no time.”  As soon as Savanna’s laces were made and tied, she got up and raced out the door. Spider silk is both really strong and stretchy. Pound for pound

it is stronger than steel. It would make great shoelaces. Not all silk is sticky; spiders can spin different types of silk based on what the silk needs to do. Spiders do eat their own silk. Many web-building spiders who eat their own silk recycle that material into the webs they build in the coming nights.


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Dustin J. Wilgers

“Not so fast, Miss. Show me what’s in your lab coat

pockets!” Mom yelled. Savanna rolled her eyes, turned

around, and dumped out the contents of her pockets:

a magnifying glass, a collection jar full of slime mold, a pair of tweezers, a pad of paper, a pen, and a pair of beetle grubs. 

Scientists try to understand the world around them through

careful observation. To do this, scientists often use tools to collect things and see details up close that they can’t normally see. Sometimes a pen and paper are their most important tools, so they can record what they see to study later.


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“Let’s leave the living things at home today; not everyone is as fond of slime molds and grubs as you are,” Mom explained. * * * By the time Savanna finally got out the door, she looked down the street to see her bus driving away. “Oh no, now I’ll never get to school on time!” The thought of being late to her first day of school sent shivers down the hairs of her legs. Her school was ten blocks away. She had to hurry. Just as she began to run down the street toward her school, a big gust of wind came from behind and almost pushed her over. “Of course!” Savanna thought, “My only chance of getting to school on time is by flying.”


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Savanna let out a long line of silk into the wind. In no time she was picked up off the ground like a balloon and headed toward her school. “Up, up, and away!” She giggled. Savannah was so excited that she didn’t realize how fast she was going. She should have remembered what her dad taught her as a little spiderling. Flying with the wind is fast and fun, but it is hard to control. Before she knew it, Savanna was past the school and needed to backtrack. 

Some spiders can use silk to fly. This is a common way that

some young spiderlings disperse to new environments once they hatch from the egg sac. Like Savanna, they are at the mercy of the wind and have little control on the distance they travel. Spiders can parachute as little as a few yards or even up to hundreds of miles before settling down to land.


avanna Spider loves science! After a rocky start to her first day of school, Savanna will have to think like a scientist to get through the day. Follow Savanna as she learns all about her friends at Arthur O. Pod Elementary School. Kids will love reading this story so much they won’t even realize they are learning science at the same time. “Science behind the Story” sidebars throughout the book explain the real science behind this fun and engaging story about a little spider scientist. Kids will learn it is never too early to be curious and look at the world through the eyes of science.

Dustin J. Wilgers

This This publication publication is is funded funded in in part part by by the the Chickadee Chickadee Checkoff Checkoff of of the the Nongame Nongame Wildlife Wildlife Improvement Improvement Program Program of of the the Kansas Kansas Department Department of of Wildlife, Wildlife, Parks, Parks, and and Tourism. Tourism.

Savanna Spider, Super Scientist, Goes to School

S

, S r u e p d e i p r S Scie a n n n a t v i a S Goes to School st

1

Dustin J. Wilgers Illustrated by Nate Knott

Book

1 in the Science Saves the Day Series

Savanna Spider Super Scientist Goes to School  

Savanna Spider loves science! After a rocky start to her first day of school, Savanna is going to have to think like a scientist to get thro...

Savanna Spider Super Scientist Goes to School  

Savanna Spider loves science! After a rocky start to her first day of school, Savanna is going to have to think like a scientist to get thro...