After talking about water (and possibly wetlands) with the Lake activity in the previous lesson, why not move on to the life cycle of the frog? Most kids find frogs and their metamorphosis to be fascinating, and this lesson includes an easy and fun 3D chart of the life cycle.
Start with some great books! Some that I particularly like are:
From Tadpole to Frog, by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
How Do Tadpoles Become Frogs? by Darice Bailer
Fun Facts About Frogs! by Carmen Bredeson
The Trouble With Tadpoles, by Sam Godwin
There are many good fiction books about frogs as well. After reading and discussing several of the books, it’s time for the craft! You will need the following materials:
- dessert-size light blue paper plates
- green and brown permanent markers or crayons
- small white pony beads
- 4″ pieces of dark chenille stems (green, brown, black will all work)
- frog stickers or die-cuts
- green construction paper
First, cut small lily pads from the green construction paper. Size them according to the size of the frog stickers or die-cuts. Draw some cattails on one quadrant of the paper plate “pond.” Permanent markers or crayons are required for the color to stick to the slick surface of most colored plates. Glue the lily pad onto the plate. If you wish for the life cycle to appear in a cyclical fashion, position the lily pad at the left side of the plate, (near 9:00) and the cattails next (near 12:00.) Glue several beads in a cluster near the bottom of the cattails for eggs. Next, going clockwise, bend a chenille stem piece into the shape of a tadpole (a loop with a squiggly tail) and glue it down near 3:00. Add a froglet with legs, if desired, by adding a second chenille stem bent around the tail of a tadpole shape to form legs. Glue the froglet down between the tadpole and the adult frog, which goes on the lily pad. Refer to the photo for ideas.
Many different discussions can accompany this lesson, including the differences and similarities of frogs and toads. For this, add a Frog and Toad book! Lessons about coloration could be included, along with discussion about poison dart and other brightly colored frogs. For younger children, pre-shape the tadpoles and pre-cut the lily pads. Use sticker frogs, and simply have them glue down the additions. Use fiction books about frogs and one brief non-fiction life cycle reading. For older students, adding a word list, labeling the stages of the frogs’ life, and other pencil-and-paper activities can be added.
Examples could include this printable from exploringnature.org (http://www.exploringnature.org/db/detail.php?dbID=18&detID=1211);
or this printed chart from www.questgarden.com:
Discussion with a model, such as this one from Safari, LTD (and available through Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/Safari-Ltd-Life-Cycle-Frog/dp/B009435MXO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1430163294&sr=8-1&keywords=safari+ltd+frog ) is often helpful for tactile learners, too.
For added fun with older students, try adding this simple origami jumping frog: http://www.origami- fun.com/support-files/origami-jumping-frog-print.pdf