The Amphibian Project

© Piotr Naskrecki

 © Lydia Fucsko

 © Piotr Naskrecki

 
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For Educators: Curriculum Toolkit

Education experts on our team have reviewed multiple sources of amphibian curricula available today and have assembled the best materials for your use here, in no particular order.  These materials include both conceptual and hands-on projects.  We have provided direct links to the source of the materials below. Choose as many of the activities as you like and incorporate them into your regular classroom curricula.   

Please see below for descriptions of amphibian-related activities and links to associated resources.

 

 

 

Classroom Curricula:

TITLE GRADE DESCRIPTION
Amphibian Alert! 2-5 A downloadable curriculum from the Sedgwick County Zoo which targets grades 2-5 to teach children about amphibians and why amphibian declines are important. Incorporated in the document is text to accompany a slideshow, also available for download.

Note: When this curriculum was developed, we thought there were about 4000 amphibian species, as stated in the text. But new species have since been discovered and there approximately 6000 species of amphibians today.

It’s Not Easy Being Green

upper elementary-lower middle school

This is an up-to-date complete curriculum. Chapters, with lesson plans and activities, are on a variety of topics, including declines, deformities, culture, anatomy, habitat and more.  Although created for by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, the materials can be adapted to any state.

Hoptoad Habitats 3-5

Designed by the Three Rivers Habitat Partnership and ASSET, Inc., Hoptoad Habitats provides eight inquiry based lessons/activities related to amphibians and vernal pools. The activities, including the Puddle Jumpers Field Journal, can be easily adapted for various regions and other types of habitats.

Slithering Around Your School Grounds with Reptiles and Amphibians

2-5

This packet contains seven activities, ranging from studies on breeding seasons and habitats, to how amphibians respond to disturbance. Developed by Terry Tomasek and Catherine Matthews at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

A Thousand Friends of Frogs K-12

Written by the Center for Global Environmental Education originally in response to the students in Minnesota discovering malformed frogs in 1995, the updated Educator’s Activity Guide can be purchased for $10.  There are several lesson plans available on the website for free, including The Case for the Missing Anurans that use characters Sheerluck Biomes and Dr. Newt Watson to investigate the causes of declines.

Something Froggy Wired at School

Two versions:

K-3, 4-8

A web-based interactive story developed by Hazel Jobe, Karen Walkowiak and Robert Owens, with associated links and activities for students.

Reviled and Revered

3-8

A series of five activities from the Smithsonian that cover topics such as people’s attitudes and misconceptions about herps, what are the differences between amphibians and reptiles and how are amphibians and reptiles like or not like people.

Facts and Folklore

6-8

From Discovery, some lesson activities are provided and teachers can purchase a video that will discover some of the amazing ways frogs survive and breed in the wild, explore their historical importance, and learn why they’re so valuable to the environment.
Ribbit! Ribbit! K-2 Designed by Christine Gorman, this thematic unit is great for ESL students. Can be adapted for grades 3-5.
Leaping into Subtraction 1 Developed by Sharon Heller at Guilford Public Schools, this unit uses frogs as the theme to teach subtraction.
Virtual Frog Dissection 7 Developed by Danielle D. Ulerich at the University of Pittsburgh, this lesson introduces students to frog anatomy.
Frogs: A Thematic Unit Plan 2 Lesson developed by Lisa Turturice which includes activities to incorporate frogs into different subjects such as art, physical education, literature, math and others.
Survival of the Mutant Toad 3-6

Retha M. Edens at Saint Louis University, this lesson and activity about amphibian camouflage involves graphing and vocabulary.

The Frog Beyond the Fairy Tale Character: Searching Informational Texts K-2 Students examine their prior knowledge, make predictions about frogs, and verify their predictions through research on the Internet. Developed by Janet Beyersdorfer.
Alarming Frogs: The Life and Work of Emerging Explorer Tyrone Hayes  9-12 This National Geographic activity explores the career of Dr. Tyrone Hayes and his work on amphibians and pesticides, and how studying frogs may help people.
Disappearing frogs and the environment 9-12 This CNN lesson plan discusses frogs as indicator species, how humans are a part of the ecosystem and the effects they are having on it.
Frog and Toad are Friends K-3 From Linda Scott, these activities engage students in differences between frogs and toads using the Frog and Toad are Friends book by Arnold Lobel.
The Teachers Guide K-12 A variety of lesson plans not listed above.
The Vanishing Frog 3-12 Discovery education created lesson plans for elementary, middle and high school.
Postcard Exchange K-12 Create a postcard exchange with other participating schools. Share information about the frogs in your area and learn about species in other areas.

Field Projects and Hands-on Activities:

TITLE GRADE DESCRIPTION
Build a Frog Pond K-12 Building a pond is a lot of work, but incredibly educational. Students will learn about wetland communities, ecosystem balance, and will create habitat for frogs. Here are some guidelines for you to consider. Tree Walkers International may also be able to provide guidance. Contact Brent Brock for more information.
Schoolyard Tree Frog Monitoring (best for Southeastern U.S.) K-12 A very simple and exciting way to give kids experience with frogs and the science used to sample them - all performed right on your school grounds! The United States Geological Survey provides detailed field and data collection methodology and the National Science Teachers Association provides suggested classroom activities. Note: NSTA also has other materials and activities on amphibians available. Please visit their website for Science Sampler: Learning from amphibians, Incorporating Amphibian Malformation into Inquiry-based Learning, Hands-on Herpetology: Exploring Ecology and Conservation, and others. http://www.nsta.org
Monitor Amphibians with Students 2-5 University of North Carolina at Greensboro provides 4 easy ways for student to ‘capture’ and monitor amphibians (and reptiles) around their school.  A variety of activities can be developed around these activities.
Raise Native Tadpoles K-12 Although raising tadpoles will be exciting and educational for students, it isn't as easy as it sounds. We have provided some guidelines and a care sheet.
Raise Poison Frogs K-12 Colorful and charismatic poison frogs are commonly bred in captivity. Breeders and hobbyists may be willing to provide frogs, tadpoles, or eggs. They will require a tropical microcosm and absolutely cannot be released. They are not native to the United States and will not survive if released.
Learn about Vernal Pools K-12

The Vernal Pool Association has a variety of examples of school projects involving vernal pools. 

FrogWatch USA K-12 FrogWatch USA is a National Wildlife Federation program to engage citizens in collecting local frog population data in neighborhoods across the country. The site also has state by state information on the frogs in your area. Note: FrogWatch surveys should be conducted at dusk but tape-recordings can be substituted for in-person surveys.  

 

Some General Web Sites: Some Scientific Web Sites and Documents:
http://allaboutfrogs.org/froglnd.shtml http://armi.usgs.gov/
http://kiddyhouse.com/Themes/frogs/

http://amphibiaweb.org/index.html

http://www.frogsonice.com/froggy/pictures.shtml

http://www.globalamphibians.org/index.html

http://michelesworld.net/frogs/

http://amphibians.org/

http://www.froggyville.com/index.php http://www.natureserve.org/publications/disappearingjewels.jsp
http://kids.yahoo.com/animals/amphibians http://www.amphibians.org/newsletter/ACAP.pdf