Cricket Investigation

Common Core Classrooms:Standards SL.4.1, W.4.8, W.4.10

In this segment, Barbara Hollenbeck, a fourth grade teacher at Kerrick Elementary in Louisville, Kentucky, facilitates a science lesson in which her students classify crickets as insects. Barbara aligns her lesson with Common Core ELA standards Speaking and Listening 4.1, Writing 4.8, and Writing 4.10.

Hollenbeck explains, “We are beginning to do the food chain. We have explored soil. We have explored plants and seeds, and we’re creating our own terrarium.”

Barbara’s morning message invites students to review and discuss the life science concepts they have learned. Today, the students explore new concepts as they add crickets to their terrariums.

Hollenbeck continues, “Through their discussion in groups and as a class, Barbara’s students progress towards Speaking andListening standard 4.1 by building on others’ ideas and clearly expressing their own. They now move to the hypothesis-­‐testing phase of the activity by gathering and recording evidence of the crickets’ anatomy.”

Now you’ve told me that this is an insect and you told me why. You told me that it had three body parts. What was one of the body parts that you noticed? Skylar, can you identify another body part that we haven’t mentioned? We’ve said the head and the thorax, we’ve said the wings and the antenna.

Their observations of the crickets have prepared students for two simple experiments. One involves gently touching the antennae eye with a pencil eraser and recording the cricket’s response. In the second experiment, students place a tent-­‐shaped piece of paper in the container with the cricket. The students predict how the cricket will respond to the tent, then observe and compare their predictions to its behavior.