Measuring and Graphing Crickets

Purpose

Measuring the length of crickets is one activity to do with students. This activity gives the students insight into diversity of individual size in a population. One of the key concepts is that living things reproduce, another concept is that living things go through a period of growth and development. Some process skills are that are developed are measuring, making observations, collecting data and graphing. This activity can be done with a mixed culture or culture where the individuals are the same age.

Handling crickets

Because crickets hop, they are must be confined in some kind of container. A small container like a test tube is good since small cricket nymphs are fragile and are easily damaged by young hands. The teacher should take crickets out one at a time by using a test tube. The way to do this is by teasing the cricket from behind to coax it into the opening of the test tube.

The student will then lay the test tube along side a metric ruler and measure the length of the cricket from head to abdomen. Do not include the antennae, the cerci or ovipostior in the measurement. The students will then log the measurement on the data sheet.

Measurement Intervals

There are several measurement intervals that can be chosen. The crickets can be measured once a week for a month to show growth. This would be most appropriate for a mixed culture. The measurements could also be done a couple of times a week for 3 months. This would be best for tracking the growth and development of a single culture where the individuals are of similar age.


Name_______________________ Class________________________

Measuring Crickets: A General Sampling

Cricket observations:

Take the test tube with the cricket and lay the test tube along the side of a ruler. Take the metric measurement from the head to the abdomen. Do not include the cerci or ovipositor. Fill in observations onto the data table.

length of the cricket

day 1 _________

day 2 _________

day 3 _________

day 4 _________

day 5 _________

day 6 _________

day 7 _________

day 8 _________

day 9 _________

day 10 ________

day 11 ________

day 12 ________

day 13 ________

day 14 ________

 


Tracking the Growth of a Population

Purpose:

To track the growth and development of crickets from hatching to adulthood. The student will be able to watch crickets grow up in the classroom. Observations taken in two week intervals as a long term class project. The students can measure any of the crickets from the culture as they are similar in age. A group or class average should then be calculated to arrive at a single figure for tracking the growth of the young crickets. This figure can then be plotted on graph paper.

Handling the crickets

This activity involves starting a new culture of baby crickets from eggs that have been laid by female crickets who have been mated. This culture is then regularly sampled by the students for growth and development. This activity is also a long term activity as the nymphs take two to three month to grow into adulthood in an aquarium with a light source.

There are a few ways to measure the crickets. 1st instar crickets (just hatched) are extremely small but can be put into a petrie dish or even a small clear plastic container. It must be clear enough to be able to measure the length of the cricket by counting number of millimeter squares on metric graph paper or metric ruler when the dish is placed on top.

The young crickets are very small but very appealing to young students. Students will tend to be gentle with these small creatures and more interested in observing them with a hand lens. As the crickets get older, they may be measured by placing them inside a test tube and laying it along the side of a ruler.


Name_______________________ Class________________________

Measuring Crickets: Tracking growth

Cricket observations:

Put the young cricket in a petrie dish by using a clean fine paint brush to gently move the cricket from it's rearing container. If using a petrie dish to measure very small crickets, place the dish on top of metric graph paper and count the millimeter squares that the cricket covers with its body.

As the cricket is older you can place it inside a test tube. Take the test tube with the cricket and lay the test tube along the side of a ruler. Take the measurement from the head to the abdomen and fill in observations onto the data table.

length of the cricket

day 1 _________

day 2 _________

day 3 _________

day 4 _________

day 5 _________

day 6 _________

day 7 _________

day 8 _________

day 9 _________

day 10 ________

day 11 ________

day 12 ________

day 13 ________

day 14 _____


Name_______________________ Class________________________

Measuring Crickets: Tracking growth

Cricket observations:

Put the young cricket in a petrie dish by using a clean fine paint brush to gently move the cricket from it's rearing container. If using a petrie dish to measure very small crickets, place the dish on top of metric graph paper and count the millimeter squares that the cricket covers with its body. As the cricket is older you can place it inside a test tube. Take the test tube with the cricket and lay the test tube along the side of a ruler. Take the measurement from the head to the abdomen and fill in observations onto the data table. After measurement is taken record the growth on graph paper in order to track the growth.

length of the cricket

week 2 _________

week 4 _________

week 6 _________

week 8 _________

week 10 ________

week 12 ________

week 14 ________

 

Back to Crickets In The Classroom Page