Should Have Sent Your Spidey-Senses Tingling

, , , , , | Learning | April 10, 2018

I don’t know if kids are still encouraged to bring things in for “show-and-tell,” but when I was in elementary school in the early 90s, we each were told to bring one thing from home to share and describe to the class.

Once, in fourth grade, this kid brought in one of those small, plastic reptile containers with the slotted lid, like the kind the pet stores give you to transport your new pet home until they can be put in a proper habitat. Inside was a bunch of leaves and grass, and one twig with a large pod attached to it. He said it was a butterfly cocoon, and he wanted to leave in the class so we could see the butterfly emerge. Most of us had never seen a cocoon in real life, and apparently our teacher hadn’t, either, because it was most definitely not a butterfly cocoon.

The box was left in our classroom over the weekend, and when we arrived the following Monday morning, the room was filled with baby spiders! It was a spider’s egg nest!

Our teacher flipped out, herded us back to the gymnasium, and left us with the PE teacher so she could go report the situation to the office. We ended up having our class in the art room for the next few days while they sprayed for the spiders, and then waited until it was safe for us to go in without breathing the fumes.

After that, we weren’t allowed to bring in “nature” related items for show-and-tell, anymore. I was never sure if that boy actually knew what he had or not, but he didn’t seem too surprised when a thousand spiders came out of that thing instead of a butterfly.

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