Leap Into Spring!
Frogs & Toads
Every year during the early spring (as the air and water temperatures start to rise) frogs and toads, roused from their winter slumber, start a harmonious call that echoes through the valleys and fields of Iowa. Western chorus frogs are usually the first of the pint-sized amphibians to start their spring time refrain but they are soon followed by spring peepers, leopard frogs and many more!
Male frogs and toads call during the spring to attract mates. By listening and recording the species heard and the location biologists can gain important information about the health of a population and about the water quality. Amphibians have thin permeable skin and so are sensitive to pollutants in the water. There is concern for amphibian species worldwide as they have declined globally due to pollution.
Create field journals with your students. There are several ways to make journals. Scrap paper stapled together. Small binders with paper. Cardboard covers and rubber banded sticks as binding. Whatever method you choose will work wonderfully the important thing is to involve the children in the creation of their field journal.
Visit a local pond to look for frogs and toads. Before going discuss observation skills and what the children think they will see. While there note observations and what they are seeing. Allow time for children to explore. Let children lead the study by what they find that interests them.
Obtain frog eggs or tadpoles to watch grow in the classroom.
Sing "Little Tadpole" to the tune of "Frere Jacques"
Little tadpole, Little tadpole
Lost his tail, Lost his tail
Now he has two feet
Now he has four feet
Look a frog! Look a frog!
Listen to recordings of frog calls. Try The Calls of Frogs and Toads: Breeding Calls and Sounds of 42 Different Species.
Metamorphosis – The Life Cycle of a Frog
Teacher Tube – Frog Life Cycle
ISU Extension Publications: Iowa Reptiles and Amphibians
Arnosky, J. 2002. All About Frogs. Scholastic, Inc.
Beltz, E. 2009. Frogs: Inside Their Remarkable World. Firefly Books, Limited.
Bogart, C. M. 1998. Sounds of North American Frogs. Smithsonian Folkways
Carney, E. 2009. National Geographic Kids: Frogs! National Geographic Society.
Elliot, L. 2002. The Calls of Frogs and Toads: Breeding Calls and Sounds of 42 Different Species. Stackpole Books.
Jordan, S. 2002. Frog Hunt. Roaring Book Press.
Marent, T., and T. Jackson. 2010. Frog: A Photographic Portrait. DK Publishing, Inc.
Moignot, D. 1998. Frogs: A First Discovery Book. Moonlight Publishing.
Naden, C.J. 1972. Let's Find Out About Frogs. Scholastic Library Publishing.
Pfeffer, W., and H. Keller. 1994. From Tadpole to Frog. HarperCollins Publishers.
Porte, B. 1999. Tale of a Tadpole. Scholastic.
Schaefer, L.M. 2001. What is an Amphibian?. Coughlan Publishing.