Powered by: 
Ranger Rick
Average Rating: 
Participant Age: 
7 to 12, Under 7
Approximate Cost: 
1 to 60 minutes
Date submitted: 
Physical Challenge: 
Study Singing Insects
Lots of insects can make quite a racket in the summer! These include singing crickets, katydids, and cicadas—insects common to central and eastern North America. If you live where these "noisy boys" are found, then try these tips for getting up close to some.
  • Two flashlights
  • Butterfly or insect net
Step 1
Creep Close

Pick one song, cup your hands behind your ears, and turn your head back and forth to pinpoint where it's coming from. Start inching toward the sound. If it stops, wait until it starts again. Then move closer. If you?re lucky, soon you'll be near enough to see the insect musician.

Step 2
Shine a Light

After dark, try a different trick. Grab a friend and two flashlights. From different places, head toward the same song. Then shine your lights in the direction the sound is coming from. The insect should be where the light beams cross.

Step 3
Watch and Wonder

Once you have a singer in your sights, sit quietly and watch it. Can you see it singing? Scoop it up with a net for an even closer peek. Then let it go, of course. The show must go on!

Step 4
Try to Figure Out Who Is Singing

Want help doing that? Go to songsofinsects.com and click on "Online Guide" to catch some of their photos and hear their songs.

Login to Activity Finder
Gain access to more cool features!
If you liked this activity, why not try:
Set up a light and a white screen, and you'll see all sorts of new bugs at night - like a bug movie.
It’s true, some “bugs” are bothersome, but plenty aren’t pests at all. Set off on a quest for th...
Discover the many different types of animal homes.
Recycle a plastic bottle into a temporary home for bugs so you can observe them, then set them free.
Build a simple trap to learn about small creatures in your yard.
Browse Topics:
  • Access
  • Age
  • Animals
  • Cost
  • Duration
  • Kids Subject
  • Location
  • Season
  • Subject
  • Type
  • UserActivityStatuses
  • Difficulties
  • Physical Challenges