Cicada Shells, Teaching About Cicadas, & Cicada Resources!

Did you find a cicada shell?!

One of my kids' favorite things about spring is finding cicada shells, so I am super excited to tell them about the big "Brood X" that is supposed to emerge in our area (the greater DC area) so soon!! In fact, I've been putting together resources all about it, and I thought I would link them all together here for anyone else looking for great information!


Cicada Shells & More


Cicadas start life out as tiny eggs that hatch into "nymphs." Nymphs are tiny insects that look similar to the adult, but are much smaller.

Those nymphs drop or crawl underground where they eat food from tree roots. They also grow and molt (or shed their outer shell) four times while they're underground. Finally, they crawl above the ground and molt a fifth time. This time, the adult emerges. According the the USDA, adult cicadas do not eat--they just mate and lay eggs!

This year (2021) is exciting because Brood X is scheduled to emerge this spring! Brood X is the largest group of 17-year cicadas in the country. They are called 17-year cicadas because they spend 17 years underground as juveniles! This spring, they will emerge for the first time in 17 years, and we should be able to find TONS of cicada shells!

In preparation, I'm working on several educational goodies!

Of course, I am most excited about the picture book I'm working on for preschoolers! It will be one of our new Little Fingers, Big Science books, and I am super excited about it! We'll be releasing it as a paperback and an ebook SUPER SOON, so keep watching for it!



I will also have cicada coloring pages and other printable activities that I will be adding to this page, so pin it and check back for links SOON!!

Online Cicada Resources


I love these online resources for teaching about cicadas--they're awesome websites with great pictures and videos:

Why millions of cicadas are expected in the U.S. in the next few weeks: CLICK HERE!

Cicada Life Cycle information from National Geographic Kids:  CLICK HERE!

Cicada Fun Facts: CLICK HERE!

Blog full of cicada pictures and information: CLICK HERE

How to help scientists track cicadas: CLICK HERE!


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