Exploring Sound With Insectsby: Laura Robertson and John R. Meyer

Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

Differences in insect morphology and movement during singing provide a fascinating opportunity for students to investigate insects while learning about the characteristics of sound. In the activities described here, students use a free online computer software program to explore the songs of the major singing insects and experiment with making their own sounds. Suggestions are also provided for ways to keep singing insects as classroom pets and to integrate them into other subject areas.

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Reviews (2)
  • on Sun May 08, 2011 7:38 PM

I was looking for lessons on sound, when I came across this lesson plan. This lesson combines the life science of insects with the science of sound - what a great idea! I plan on teaching in a more integrated approach next year, and these lessons will fit in perfectly. I especially liked the content knowledge that was provided within the article on sound - the components of sound, why we hear sound, and other concepts that are important to confident teaching of the topic. I am looking forward to implementing these lessons next year in our environmental science unit.

Susanne Hokkanen  (Orland Park, IL)
Susanne Hokkanen (Orland Park, IL)

  • on Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:18 AM

This article is one of the most exciting that I have reviewed that integrates waves and sound into inquiry lessons focusing on insect morphology and movement; lessons available for students at all levels of learning. The educators describe activities that gather data with a freeware sound identifying sonogram promoted by e-bird and Cornell Lab of Ornithology. And note that the 'bird ID' software has been adapted by these cany educators into another tool for their students to study insects. The strategies are cleverly designed and certainly will open the door to integrating life and physical science at many content areas. You are encouraged to review the methods presented; to download the free software; and to design inquiry for your particular classroom learning environment. Enjoy! My students certainly did and I thank the authors for sharing with all by writing the article for the NSTA journal.

Patricia  (Arlington, VA)
Patricia (Arlington, VA)

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