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A Cloud of Cicadas

Written and narrated by Chanel Tsang

We’re going underground today to learn more about the life cycle of cicadas! These incredible insects live underground for 17 years before emerging altogether—all 1.5 million of them! 


During the first breathing exercise called Backbone Breathing (our kid-friendly version of yogic spinal breathing), we are going to breathe in to fill up our “tummy tanks” and make an imaginary car drive up our spine, or backbone, and breathe out to go back down the backbone road. The goal is to pay more attention to the spine because it helps us breathe better (especially when we fill up our “tummy tank”) and improves our posture, so our chest and shoulders are more open, allowing us to breathe in and out more deeply. 


If you are listening with someone else, you can take turns: one person follows along with the directions and breathe while the other traces their spine, paying attention to when they are breathing in (up) and breathing out (down). Rewind the episode to switch and take turns doing the breathing exercise! 


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Today’s Themes

Scientific (curriculum connections): insects, cicadas, defence mechanisms, prime numbers, 

Social-emotional connections: patience, practice, different types of intelligence 


Resources

Cicadas (National Geographic)

10 scintillating facts about cicadas (CBC)

Amazing Cicada Life Cycle (Sir David Attenborough’s Life in the Undergrowth) on YouTube (About 5 min.)

17 Year Periodical Cicadas (Planet Earth, BBC Earth) on YouTube (About 4 min., better for older children)

Why Are Cicadas So Good at Math? (PBS.org) (About 5 min. Good intro to cicadas and their life cycle, with a very brief image at the beginning that some younger children may find initially scary but is meant to be humorous and is explained immediately. Would recommend, it’s very interesting!)


Did you enjoy this story? Why not take a look at some of our other children‘s relaxational and mindfulness stories?

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