Frogs

When we learn about a science topic, like frogs, we follow the basic pattern below.  We learn facts, in a fun way of possible, we do an experiment, and then maybe we do a related craft or eat a treat.

Play A Frog Facts Game

Here’s a fun way to do it.  Place a dozen or so “lily pads” with frog facts written on them into a large bowl.  Call the bowl the pond.  Then have the kids take turns throwing bean bag frogs into the pond.  When a frog makes it into the pond, take out a frog fact and read it to the kids.  Print the Frog Facts Game onto green cardstock or construction paper then cut out.

frog_facts_game

You can play a second time, this time asking a question about the fact instead of reading the fact.  For example, the first time through you read: Frogs are amphibians.  The second time through you say, What kind of animal are frogs?  And the kids answer “amphibians”.  If they can’t remember then prompt them or give them the answer.

Here are some bean bag frogs you can make yourself.

Learn all about frogs.

  1. Use felt (the edges won’t unravel and need no hemming) and cut out two identical pieces for each frog.
  2. Cut out a long, skinny tongue.
  3. Sew or hot glue the top and bottom pieces together, with the tongue.  Be sure to leave a gap for the fill.
  4. Use a funnel to fill the frog with rice.  Then close up the last gap.
  5. Next hot glue wiggly eyes onto the frog and hot glue on spots if you wish.

Grow A Frog

Once you have learned a few frog facts read a book about frogs from the library and visit a frog habitat, such as a nearby pond, if you can.  It is possible to purchase frog eggs and watch them hatch as well.

This tadpole is about 38 days old. You can just barely see its legs beginning to bud. Photo by Davefoc, CC license, Wikimedia.

Life Cycle

Learning about the life cycle of the frog is the next step.  Try this printable frog life cycle activity from DLTK.

Life cycle of a frog by LadyofHats, released to the public domain.

Dissect A Frog

If you have older students, fourth grade and up, learning about the anatomy of a frog and doing a frog dissection is a good idea.  You can purchase kits with a guide, no experience necessary.

Dissecting-a-Frog-10

Frog Treat

Make these “frog egg” cookies for a frog related treat.  Make tiny circular sugar cookies or use “Nilla” wafers.  Top each one with white frosting and a chocolate chip.  The cookie and frosting are the egg sac and the dark spot, the chocolate chip, is the frog developing inside the egg.  Yum.

An alternative treat would be to eat some frog food: goldfish crackers (small fish), chowmein noodles (worms), M&M’s (bugs), mini chocolate chips (flies).

Additional Layers

  • Read a frog related book.  The Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel are wonderful for young kids.  The beanbag frogs above can be used to represent frog and toad as the story is being told.
  • For older kids The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County by Mark Twain is a great story with underlying meanings for great discussions.
  • The Frog Prince, a fairy tale, is also a classic story with great discussion potential for all ages.
  • Write your own frog story, first with the frog as a personified character, then with the frog as an actual animal frog.  For beginning writers there’s nothing wrong with the adult doing much of the physical writing for them.  They can write captions to illustrations or copy the story later for practice.
  • Learn about classification and how humans like to put animals and plants into categories.  Frogs are in the category “amphibian”.  What are the characteristics that put it in this group?
  • Learn more about habitats.  What do frogs need to live?
  • Frogs are considered an “indicator” species, which means when the frogs start to die off we know something is wrong with their habitat in general.  Find out more about indicator species and what makes frogs one.
  • Frogs have made their impact in history.  They were one of the plagues set on the Egyptians by Moses.  Like snakes, frogs were unknown in Ireland until the 1700’s.  Aristophanes, an ancient Greek guy, wrote a play called The Frogs in about 405 BC.  In 1758 in Windham, Connecticut a group of frogs migrated en mass through the town during the night, scaring the inhabitants out of their beds and causing them to think it was the French and Indians attacking.  Read more about one of these events or find out more historical events involving frogs.
  • Find out the difference between frogs and toads.
  • Learn about food webs and chains and draw a diagram showing where frogs fit in the food chain of their habitat.
  • There are many superstitions relating to frogs and toads.  Find out what some are and discuss whether you think there might be a real danger.  What is a superstition?
  • The life cycle activity and frog egg cookies are both circle shapes.  Learn about circles with pre-schoolers or kindergartners.
  • The frog egg cookies can be placed in a grid to practice multiplication facts.

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