Theme: Animal Friends

Cricket Habitat Box


Objective: The children will learn about habitats and create a habitat for crickets.

 

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What You Will Need

  • Clear plastic container with lid (shoe box size)
  • Sand
  • Leaves
  • Twigs
  • Small containers for food and water – 2
  • Cotton ball soaked in water
  • Cornmeal
  • Fish food
  • Potatoes – cut into ½" chunks
  • Apples – cut into ½" chunks
  • Small scoop or sand shovel – 1
  • Crickets – available at pet stores 

What To Do

Note: Before starting the activity, use a sharp knife to place small air holes in the lid of the container.

  1. Display a cricket, and ask children what they know about crickets (see Did You Know?).
  2. Discuss with the children any habitats you may have already presented in class (see Did You Know?).
  3. Discuss the type of habitat a cricket might like (see Did You Know?).
  4. Explain to the children that they will be making a habitat for crickets out of a plastic container.
  5. Talk about what a habitat contains, so the children understand the meaning of the word “habitat.”
  6. Have each child place a scoop of sand in the bottom of the container. Fill the container ¼ of the way with sand.
  7. Place the water-soaked cotton ball into the water container, and place some cornmeal, fish food, potato chunks, and apple chunks in the food container (see Lesson Tips).
  8. Place the crickets in the habitat box, and place the lid firmly on top.
  9. Throughout the week, have the children draw pictures or write about the cricket habitat.

Guiding Student Inquiry

  • Explain what a habitat is.
  • Tell me what you know about crickets.
  • Describe the habitat of a cricket.
  • Explain what a habitat needs to have in order for an animal to survive and grow.

Explore, Extend & Integrate

  • Have the children draw a picture of their habitat box, and send the pictures home for the children to share with their families.
  • Make habitat collages using white construction paper, sand, leaves, twigs, grass, glue sticks, and scissors. Have magazines available for children to cut out pictures of animals to glue on their habitat pictures.
  • In the art center, cover a table with butcher paper, and place small puddles of paint on paper plates. Give the children plastic insects to dip into the paint and make prints on the butcher paper. 

Check for Children’s Understanding

  • Could children explain what a habitat is?
  • Could children tell something about crickets?
  • Could children describe the habitat of a cricket?
  • Could children tell what a habitat needs to have in order for an animal to survive and grow?

Did You Know?

A habitat is a place where an animal naturally lives or a plant naturally grows. A habitat is composed of five basic elements: food, water, air, shelter, and space. A healthy habitat provides everything an animal needs to survive and grow. In North America, there are many different types of habitats, such as forests, grasslands, deserts, and wetlands. Crickets live in almost any environment—forests, grasslands, wetlands, caves, beaches, and underground. Crickets, like other animals, will make their home wherever they can find food, water, air, shelter, and space.

There are more than 900 different kinds of crickets, but the most common are house crickets and field crickets. Field crickets live outdoors and eat decaying plant matter and seedlings. House crickets begin looking for warm places to escape the cool nights in early fall. House crickets can be found in basements, closets, fireplaces, cupboards, garages, and almost anywhere in or near a house. House crickets eat almost anything in sight.

Did You Know?

A habitat is a place where an animal naturally lives or a plant naturally grows. A habitat is composed of five basic elements: food, water, air, shelter, and space. A healthy habitat provides everything an animal needs to survive and grow. In North America, there are many different types of habitats, such as forests, grasslands, deserts, and wetlands. Crickets live in almost any environment—forests, grasslands, wetlands, caves, beaches, and underground. Crickets, like other animals, will make their home wherever they can find food, water, air, shelter, and space.

Learn More

Vocabulary

  • animal – one of a large group of living things that is not a plant.
  • habitat – the natural environment of an animal or plant.
  • shelter – the place or structure that gives protection from weather or danger.
  • environment – everything that surrounds living things and affects growth and health.
  • survive – to continue to live and grow.
  • cricket – an insect that is related to a grasshopper, with long antennae and strong hind legs for jumping.

Vocabulary

  • animal 
  • habitat
  • shelter
  • environment
  • survive
  • cricket

Child-Friendly Definitions

Lesson Tips

  • Crickets jump and move very quickly. Take precautions as you move the crickets into their habitat box.
  • An egg cup cut from a foam egg carton can be used for food and water containers. Place a few more upside down in the habitat box for the crickets to use as a hiding place.
  • Replace the food and the water-soaked cotton ball daily. This can be added as a daily job for the children.
  • Although some crickets can live for up to a year, it is likely that they will live only a few months. Keep the crickets in the classroom for 1 week, and then release them outdoors.

Books

  • Chirping Crickets by Melvin Berger
  • Crickets by Margaret Hall
  • The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle
  • Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood

Content provided by:

Delaware Museum of Natural History logo
Visit the Delaware Museum of Natural History website


Common Core State
Standards Initiative

These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge.[2]

Visit the CCSS website

Important Legal Disclosures & Information

  1. While we believe that the books and resources recommended may be of value to you, keep in mind that these are suggestions only and you must do your own due diligence to determine whether the materials are appropriate and suitable for your use. PNC has no sponsorship or endorsement agreement with the authors or publishers of the materials listed. 

  2. There are currently no Common Core Standards for pre-k, but these lessons are aligned as closely as possible to capture the requirements and meet the goals of Common Core Standards. However, these lessons were neither reviewed or approved by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices or the Council of Chief State School Officers, which together are the owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards.