World of Crickets
“The World of Crickets” is a series of lab activities involving live crickets kept in the classroom that can be modified to suit students of all ages. Lab 4 is best suited for older students, as it requires experimental design and execution.
Lab 1: What Do Crickets Eat?
Students will make observations and record data on the types of food that crickets eat. While working in small groups, students will place a variety of foods on brown paper in a container. They will place crickets in the container with food, and then observe and record which foods the crickets visit. Observations will be recorded on a data table. Students will then graph their results as a whole class activity.
Lab 2: Crickets’ Response to Light
Students will test light preferences in crickets. In the first part of the lab students will find out whether crickets prefer bright areas versus darker spots. During the second part of the lab students will choose three different colors and test whether the crickets have a preference for a particular color or not.
Lab 3: The Musical World of Crickets
Students will make observations and record data on crickets’ response to their environment. Students will use heating pads and freezer packs to manipulate the temperature in a container and observe the crickets’ reactions to temperature.
Lab 4: Crickthermometer
Students will design and carry out an experiment to find out whether they can predict air temperature by counting the number of times a cricket chirps. According to various sources; outside, ground, and cricket habitat temperatures (in degrees Fahrenheit) can be estimated by counting the number of times a cricket chirps in 15 seconds and adding a certain number. Students will experiment to determine if this is correct. They will put into practice what they have learned about controls, forming hypotheses, repeats, data recording and interpreting, and reaching logical conclusions.