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ERIC Number: EJ796381
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-0002-7685
Cricket Behavior: Observing Insects to Learn about Science & Scientific Inquiry
Rop, Charles J.
American Biology Teacher, v70 n4 p235-240 Apr 2008
Biology teachers know how important it is for them and for their students to engage first-hand with nature. Ideally, bringing students to fields, woodlands, and wetlands to observe, explore, and wonder is the best way to stimulate curiosity and practice scientific inquiry. However, for many reasons, field excursions are not always practical or possible. When they are not, it is often effective to bring familiar living organisms into the classroom, thereby placing students in a context that makes the familiar strange. Students have probably already informally observed some behavior of the patterns of crickets and they may have wondered about the sounds they make during the night. Although they may have listened to crickets, they probably have never actually watched them "sing." In the classroom, where these insects can be conveniently observed, students can take time to carefully notice in new ways how crickets behave. Students learn not only a lot about these particular insects but they also learn about scientific reasoning and habits of mind as they practice original scientific inquiry as described in the National Standards. In this article, the author describes cricket behavior investigations and experiments that he used to introduce his students to biology. They require very little equipment and can be used in any school setting from grades 5-12. Although this study requires no sophisticated equipment, it does take some imagination, ingenuity, and class time. He also describes experiments, designed and carried out by his students, that relate to reproductive potential, food preference, and song frequency, as well as other topics that pique their interest. (Contains 3 tables and 1 figure.)
National Association of Biology Teachers. 12030 Sunrise Valley Drive #110, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-406-0775; Tel: 703-264-9696; Fax: 703-264-7778; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 10; Grade 11; Grade 12; Grade 5; Grade 6; Grade 7; Grade 8; Grade 9
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A