Do you call them "fireflies" or "lightning bugs?"

Whether you call the glowing beetles with flashes “fireflies” or “lightning bugs” can depend on where you grew up. Southerners tend to use the term “lightning bugs” while those growing up in the north use “fireflies.”  Use this poll to ask your class their preferred terminology and graph the results!  

PowerPoints for Educator Use

PowerPoints for Educator Use piloted in a 4th grade class and an 8th grade class. 

Part 1: Firefly Biology and The Big Dipper Firefly

Part 2: Firefly Habitat and Steps We Can Take for Firefly Conservation (in progress)

Incorporate Fireflies into your Language Arts Curriculum

Books Used by Educators

The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle (preschool through early elementary)

Glow: Animals with Their Own Night Lights by W.H. Beck (early elementary)


Light the Sky, Firefly by Sheri Mabry Bestor (6-9 years)

Fireflies in the Night by Judy Hawks and Ellen Alexander (4-8 years)


Fireflies by Julie Brinklove (6-7 years)


Fireflies Book: Fun Facts about the Fireflies You Loved as a Kid by Brett Ortler (upper elementary – middle school)


Firefly writing prompt
Use this firefly prompt for a writing assisgnement

Firefly Habitat

Download information on adding firefly habitat to your school garden.
Certified Habitat Firefly sign
Visit for more infomation on being Firefly Habitat certified!

Your school garden could become a certified habitat for fireflies. 

To become a certified firefly habitat you will be asked if you are:

  • Providing undisturbed cover for adults and glowing larvae
  • Encouraging plant diversity to preserve soil moisture
  • Reducing Light Pollution
  • Restricting Pesticide Usage
Resources on creating firefly habitat are located at

Links, Interviews and Podcasts:

Becky Griffin’s interview with Lynn Faust about her career as a firefly entomologist and advocate.
Xerces Information on Firefly Conservation.
Firefly Coloring Sheet 1 – Lifecycle of the Big Dipper
Firefly Coloring Sheet 2 – Firefly color by numbers
Information sheet on Big Dipper Firefly (Photinus pyralis)
National Geographic’s 3 minute audio on The Dark Side to the Firefly’s Flashes.  This discusses how some females from the Photuris firefly family lure males for food.
Scientific American’s 11 Cool Things You Never Knew about Fireflies.
National Geographic’s 1 minute film on The Science of Summer – Fireflies.
Atlanta Firefly Project

Feel free to download and use these firefly mascots :