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Educator Information

Video Questions | Vocab & Discussion | Answers

Content Areas:

Insect behavior, anatomy and physiology. Genetic mutation caused by radiation.

 Grade Levels: 5-8

National Science Standards:

C: Life science,
F: Science in the Personal & Social Perspective,
G: History and Nature of Science


Radiation causes grasshoppers to mutate, becoming gigantic, and eat everything in their path as they swarm. The people learn that low temperatures slow the locusts, and find a sound which attracts the swarm. Sound is used to lead the insects to their deaths.

 Good Science:

Insect anatomy, physiology and behavior is presented factually.

 Bad Science:

bulletAn insect one thousand times its natural size, and therefore 1000 times is natural weight, would not be able to structurally support itself.
bulletRadiation is said to cause plants to grow and photosynthesize at night, as well as to cause identical mutations in hundreds of insects.

 Media Center Extension:

bulletAssist the class with a research presentation on the interdependence between plants and insects:
In what way do plants depend on insects?
In what way do insects depend on plants?
bulletAssist the class in a reenactment or retelling of Who’s Got Game?: The Ant or the Grasshopper by Toni Morrison
bulletIdentify current and appropriate Web sites to help student learn about the effect of radiation exposure on humans, animals, and plants, including research concerning places such as Hiroshima, Chernobyl, and the Bikini Atoll.

 Web Resources:

bulletOrkin education:

As the information available on the Web is constantly changing we recommend that you search for new sites that relate to this lesson/film.

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Copyright © 2006 Drs.Cavanaugh  Last modified: March 06, 2008