Hyla (Peep) Crucifer, the story of the spring peeper frog, by Carol Cornelius

            This is a fiction book that talks of the Hyla frog, one that you might see near your home in the spring.  It gives information about frogs that you can easily share with the children.

Materials

  •  frog outlines
  •  Pictures of several animals using camouflage to hide.
  • 10 flies
  • Paper plates
  • Frog head
  • Tiddlywinks or poker chips
  • Green playdough and two googly eyes per child

Vocabulary

  • Drifted (to float)
  • Gills (as lungs are to people, gills are to fish)
  • Camouflage (a way that animals can hide from other animals by blending into their environment/their surroundings).

Before Reading the Story

            Cut out 1 inch squares from different colors of paper.  Cut out 2 per child.  Hide these about the room placing the colored square upon an object that is the same color.  When the children gather for rug tell them that you just learned a really big word that you want to teach them.  Tell them the word is “camouflage” and ask if anyone thinks they might know what it means?  Bring in some pictures of animals that are camouflaged and show them to the children.  Show the children several of the one inch squares that you cut out.  Tell them that you have hidden the squares around the room and they are camouflaged.  Remember that camouflaged means that they are hiding on a color just like them.  Let the children know that they are each to go and find one camouflaged square and bring it back to the rug.  As they bring them back, ask them what color they found and where they found it.

Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; grows in abilities to persist in and complete a variety of tasks and activities.

Reading the Story

            As you read, remind the children that a Hyla Peeper frog is really only about an inch long. Show them how small an inch is.  Ask them why they think the illustrator drew the frog so big? (So we could see him good)

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & problem-Solving; grows in recognizing and solving problems through active exploration, including trial and error, and interactions and discussions with peers and adults.

After Reading the Story

            Go back through the pages and ask the children to tell you what they remember about the Hyla frog and his life.  Use the book as a guide.  Write down the children’s responses and hang it on the wall with several of the children’s writing experiences.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; shows growing interest and involvement in listening to and discussing a variety of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

Discovery

            In the story, the tadpole used to breathe under the water like a fish but as he got older he started to breath through his lungs.  Have the children put their hands on their chest and breathe in and out, then feel their lungs fill up with air. 

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and respect for their bodies and the environment.

Music and movement;

            Sing Peep Peep Went the Little Green Frog https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=EbM70ouxrc8&list=RDAMVMEbM70ouxrc8

Peep, peep went the little green frog one day

Peep, peep went the little green frog.

Peep. Peep went the little green frog one day

And his eyes went peep, peep too.

            Do 5 Little Speckled Frogs.  Have the children hold up 5 fingers and then do the actions with the poem. https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=HhVi4IQRMtY&list=RDAMVMHhVi4IQRMtY

5 Little speckled frogs, sitting on a speckled log

Eating the most delicious bugs, yum, yum

One jumped into the pool, where it was nice and cool

Then there were 4 more speckled frogs

Glub, glub.

Creative Arts/Music; participates with increasing interest and enjoyment in a variety of music activities, including listening, singing, finger plays, games, and performances.

            Put a bunch of paper plates all over the floor.  Turn on some lively music and let the children become frogs and jump from leaf/plate to leaf (or lily pads).

Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency, control, and balance in walking, slimbing, running, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.

Blocks

            Have the children make a small pond with the blocks.  Give them tidily winks or poker chips and show them how to pop them to make them jump (take one and scrape across the edge of another that is lying on a flat surface.  It will jump!  Can you get them to jump into the pond?  

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.

Art

Give the children green play dough and googly eyes. Show them how to roll a ball of playdough to make the frog’s’ body. Give them googly eyes and encourage them to add legs and design to their bodies (I have given the children a straw to make ‘dots’ on the frog and a pencil to make ‘stripes’).

Creative Arts/Art; progresses in abilities to create drawings, paintings, models, and other art creations that are more detailed, creative, or realistic.

Library and Writing

            The hyla frog has an X on its back.  Give each child a copy of the page with the 6 frogs on it and ask them to draw an X on each frogs back.

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; shows progress in associating the names of letters with their shape and sound. AND Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multiple-step directions.

Sand and Water

            Water play, pouring and scooping.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads and using scissors.

Dramatic Play

            Have the children cut out the frog head and make a mask/hat out of it by attaching it to a sentence strip around their head.  The children can wear their frog heads as they hop and jump about the classroom to music.

Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations. AND Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads and using scissors.

Math and Manipulatives

            Play Flies for Lunch.  Cut out a set of flies per child and spread them out on the table.   Write the numbers 1-5 on the fly backs. Give each child a piece of contact paper 1 inch by 6 inches.  Show them how to flap their “sticky tongue” down on the table and pick up a fly.  Call out numbers and see if they can catch the correct fly.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.

Outdoor Play

            Have the children take turns getting into a crouching position and doing a frog leap.  Make a starting line and then mark the ground where they jump.  See who is the jumpiest frog.  Try having the children do standing long jumps and running broad jumps also.

Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency, control, and balance in walking, climbing, running, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.

Transitions

As the children move to the next activity have them do different kinds of hops or jumps. Can you hop on one foot to line up? Find a partner and jump to line up. Hop in a circle and then line up. Jump backwards to line up.

Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency, control, and balance in walking, climbing, running, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.

Resources

enlarge to use for dramatic play
write numbers on the backs of flies to use in manipulatives.
Give each child a page of 6 frogs to practice making the letter X on the backs
These frogs all camouflage into their pond environments
About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.