Teaching overview

Learning points

  • Trillions of cicadas are expected to emerge across the United States over the next few weeks in a rare phenomenon that hasn’t occurred in more than 200 years.
  • Scientists have used slow-motion cameras to figure out why some flying insects seem to be attracted to lights at night.

Curriculum keywords

  • cicadas
  • flying insects

This Week's Kahoot Quiz

Each week we'll be bringing you a free quiz that you can use with your students after they've enjoyed the episode.

Play Quiz

Spark a discussion


  • How many cicadas are expected to emerge in the next few weeks?
  • Why do cicadas come to the surface?
  • How do cicadas impact the local environment?
  • When was the last time that the 13-year and 17-year periodical cicadas emerged at the same time?
  • Can you figure out the next time that this phenomenon will happen?

Flying Insects and Lights

  • Why do some flying insects seem to be attracted to artificial lights at night?
  • How did scientists make their observations?
  • How do some flying insects use lights to help them fly?

Classroom Resources

Use these resources to get the most out of the news update and engage your class in topical science!

Discover More About Topics Covered In This Week's Update

Twig Science: A Complete Pre-K–8 Program for the NGSS

Immersive Investigations with High-Quality Multimedia

  • Investigating, designing, building, and understanding phenomena
  • Hands-on, digital, video, and print investigations
  • Synchronous/asynchronous distance learning