The Very Quiet Cricket
Read author's note about crickets
Science: Cricket Life Cycle
The size, wings, and ovipositor all help determine the age and stage (and sex) of a cricket. There are three stages in the life of a cricket: egg, nymph, and adult. Look at the picture and let your student try his hand and drawing the three stages of cricket life.
The immature crickets (nymphs) appear to be similar to the adults, but they do not have fully developed wings. As they grow, the wing pads can be observed (however, not all species of crickets have wings). The size of the cricket also helps determine its age because it grows in length each time it molts.
Female crickets can be identified by the presence of a long tube-like structure on the back of its abdomen. This is called the "ovipositor" and its function is to lay eggs.
Science: Cricket Bug Jug
Purchase crickets from a pet store or bait and tackle shop. Prepare a terrarium in a jar including: potato halves, potting soil, pebbles or gravel, plants, and a screen or cheesecloth to cover. Add moss where babies can hide so the adults won't eat them. Feed them bits of fruit, vegetables and dry rabbit food. Keep a small container (jar lid) filled with water in the habitat.
Science: Cricket Observation
Using your Cricket Bug Jug, let your student observe them over the course of many days for 5-10 minutes each day. Here are some questions to ask.
How does it eat?
How long is it? (yes, measure it!)
What does its song sound like?
Discuss which crickets are male and which ones are female.
What happens if you run some fishing line on the cricket's antennae?
What happens if you stroke the cricket's abdomen?
How do the adult crickets interact? Males with males? Females with females? Females with males?
How do the nymphs interact?
Enchanted Learning and other Helps (Cricket Anatomy, etc.)
http://insected.arizona.edu/lesson_15/default.htm -- A lesson on senses
Science: Crickets and Temperature (adapted from girlstart.com)
Scientists have noticed an unusual relationship between crickets' chirpings and temperature. On very cold days, there are large intervals between cricket chirps. That means the space between each cricket chirp is long, and so the chirps are not very frequent. On warmer days, the interval between each cricket chirp is smaller and so the chirps are heard frequently.
Scientists are able to relate the chirping of crickets and temperature of their environment mathematically. The amount of cricket chirps heard (in fifteen seconds) plus 48 is the approximate temperature of the cricket's environment in degrees Fahrenheit!
If you can hear crickets at night, go outside and perform the following experiment:
Activity: Estimate the temperature by listening to cricket chirps!
Scratch piece of paper
Thermometer (if you'd like to check your estimate)
You may want to discuss the occupation of entomologist with your child. An entomologist studies insects. Encourage your student to be an entomologist for the next few days by studying all the insects mentioned in this book:
Don't forget about the Spotter's Guide to print on the Eric Carle Main Page -- it has some helpful information to go-along with these insects
Cricket Jumping Contest!
Measure how far crickets can jump, record the lengths, and compare the results in a graph.
Poetry: The cricket is mentioned in a poem on page 19 of Eric Carle's Animals, Animals.
Chapter Book Read
Cricket in Times Square
Go Along Book
A Pocketful of Cricket by Rebecca Caudill
Carle "Very Books" Block Puzzle
Your preschooler can arrange and rearrange 9 blocks to form the characters from five different Eric Carle "Very" books: The Very Quiet Cricket, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Lonely Firefly, The Very Clumsy Click Beetle, and The Very Busy Spider plus a friendly sun.
Back to Eric Carle Main Page
The Honeybee and the Robber
The Very Busy Spider
The Very Clumsy Click Beetle
The Grouchy Ladybug
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Lonely Firefly