Thanks to Education World for use of my Mrs. Waffenschmidt illustration.

Thanks to Education World for use of my Mrs. Waffenschmidt illustration.
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cicadas to Soon Arrive!

They're coming....After 17 years, cicadas are about to return. From states along the eastern coast, billions  and billions of the insects will soon be making an appearance. The cicada,a relative of the katydids and crickets, have been living underneath the ground and are now ready to make an appearance above ground to chirp loudly,find a mate, lay their eggs and...die. Actually, the cicadas that will be showing up are the children of those that visited back in 1996. They are being called Brood 2. There are 2500 species of cicadas. Some appear yearly in Japan. Others wait 13 years and those in the northeast  wait the 17 years to make their visit.  Black and red in coloring, and about 2 inches in length, the males' chirping can be heard up to 1 mile away by the female of the species! Harmless to humans, their sound can be a bit hard on the ears as it can reach 100 decibels(about that of a lawnmower). The commotion lasts several weeks and usually stops at sunset through April and May. 

Photograph from

Additional information:

Learn more about the cicada:

Extension Activities:

Draw a picture and write 4 facts learned about cicadas from this link: 

Listen to the sounds of cicadas:  

Do a word search on cicadas(easier)

Read a short story, The Ant and the Cicada: 

Draw the life cycle of a cicada after watching this 2nd grader's presentation onn the life cycle of the ciada:

Pretend you are a cicada. Write a creative writing story telling about a day in your life after you have emerged from the ground after 17 years. What do you see? Hear? Feel? Etc. Include 3 facts learned about cicadas.

Fun facts: 
* Only the male chirps
* Cicadas have the loudest insect in the world
* Interestingly, all of the cicadas returns are years which are  prime numbers.
* A theory suggests the chirping isn't to attract a mate but to "bug" birds and keep them from being eaten.
* Although  some people call them locust(a type of grasshopper), cicada aren't!
* Females can lay 400-600 eggs before they die.


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