Ready, Set, Glow!
According to the Children & Nature Network (2008), only 6% of children ages 9-13 play outside in a typical week. The National Children’s Museum developed Ready, Set, Glow! to encourage kids to get outside and have fun learning about fireflies. The homepage links to Firefly Jokes, Be a Scientist, and Games.
For Educators offers K-5 lesson plans, activities for Girl and Boy Scout badge activities, camp craft activities and games, and science project ideas. Lessons and activities are available as PDFs. An example grade 3-5 lesson is How Do Fireflies Glow? In this lesson in bioluminescence, students use light sticks to gain insight into how a chemical reaction inside fireflies produces their light.
Activity Sheets include coloring pages, maze, word searches, secret code, and data sheet for recording firefly field observations.
Parent Tips suggest how to interest kids in science and observing fireflies, recommend supplies, provide tips on collecting data, and describe firefly experiments. One experiment called Talking to Fireflies instructs students to observe and imitate female firefly flashing behavior and to imitate it to attract males.
For students who participate in firefly watching activities, an Official Firefly Watcher Certificate is available for downloading and printing.