This is the time of the year when walks outside are wreathed with cricket chirps, buzzing cicadas, and the scraping sounds of various grasshoppers.
A brief excursion out of doors can fill children’s memories with sights of bumblebees clinging to asters, ants carrying small seeds along a pathway, or white butterflies lurching across the fading gardens. Yet equally unforgettable will be those insects sounds – despite the fact that the six-legged singers were hidden away under stones or leaves or perched high overhead in the tallest maples.
Following such a stroll, your students might try the following activity page. It should enable them to better link the insect sounds that they’ve just heard to the songsters’ common English names and the creatures’ visual appearance. You can facilitate this task by playing selections from Lang Elliot and Wil Hershberger’s magnificent CD and book combination: The Songs of Insects (Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007) as the youngsters write the correct names beneath the black and white line drawings of the insects’ forms. If time permits, they can color the images with colored pencil, crayon, or watercolors. Some might prefer to make their own free-hand drawings of their favorites. They can also pass around the book just mentioned to better appreciate the remarkable character of these insects. The large, ‘shadowed,’ color photographs of these beautiful and varied songsters are truly impressive.
By the end of the day’s experience, the children should have garnered some positive memories of their encounters with living beings on an autumn day, and a paper memento of their adventures to take home to share with their families. Perhaps they could even store their work in a seasonal portfolio or journal for future review…
Here are several examples of student work followed by a link to the PDF of the original page itself.
Click here for the printable PDF: EB Insect Songsters 2018