How The Cricket Lost Its Song

(1 review)


In just 20 generations, crickets on the Island of Kuai went from singing to silent, why? A researcher investigated, and discovered two causes — arrival of a parasitic fly and a mutation that made the male wings flat, so they couldn’t produce a song. Students will investigate the correlation between the two causes and discuss their relevance.

Each Data Nugget comes with three student versions, based on the type of graphing skills required. Type A activities provide the graph for the students (allowing a focus on graph interpretation, making claims based on evidence, and explaining reasoning), Type B activities provide axis labels but requires students to graph the data, and Type C provides an unlabeled grid on which to draw a graph.

There is a 2021 follow-up to these two activities, which show how crickets eventually evolved an alternate form of song. These could be used together to show the progression of research questions over time.

The supplemental resources for these lessons are extensive:

  • Grading Rubric
  • links to original research papers
  • Interview with the researcher
  • Video introducing the study system
  • Links to cricket songs
  • Links to several popular news articles

Additional information

Grade Level

NGSS STEM Practices

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Resource Type

Standards Present

Not Present

Media Format

PDF Download, Text/Web Page

Creation Date


Reviews (1)

1 review for How The Cricket Lost Its Song

  1. LessonHiveAdmin

    Data Nuggets are free classroom activities co-designed by scientists and teachers that bring contemporary research and authentic data into the classroom. Each activity gives students practice working with “messy data” and interpreting quantitative information. Students are guided through the entire process of science, including identifying hypotheses and predictions, visualizing and interpreting data, making evidence based claims, and asking their own questions for future research.
    These three Nuggets show the progression of a research question over several years, as well as demonstrate observable natural selection. Together they will challenge students to figure out what is changing, and what effect is has on the survival and reproduction of these Hawaiian crickets.

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