From Tadpole to Frog, by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld

This non-fiction book with simple explanations and pictures.

Materials

  • Crystal jelly beads that grow in water
  • Green puff balls and tweezers
  • Frog counters (store bought or home-made)
  • Small fishnet or scoopers
  • Yardstick or tape measurer
  • Hula hoops

Vocabulary

  • Metamorphosis (to change or transform from one thing to another)
  • Use the glossary in the back of the book to help explain the key words.

Before Reading the Story

Make a copy of the following picture. https://thewildlifekingdom.tumblr.com/post/52929616919/handa-500px-tadpoles-by-bert-willaert  Ask the children if they know what these things are?  Where was this picture taken?  Have you ever seen real tadpoles?  Where did you see them?

On a piece of paper write, What we Know about tadpoles and frogs.  Ask the children for any facts they may know and write them onto the paper.  Keep the paper handy and do the same thing after you have read the story.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

Reading the Story

On page 8, point out where the head and tail are forming.  On page 10 note that fish have gills also and that is why they can breath under water.  On page 16, point out the tiny legs and point to where the gills used to be.  On page 18 note that people have lungs to breath air.  Explain that with lungs the tadpole now has to come to the surface and breath air through its mouth.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

After Reading the Story

Ask the children to tell you all they things that they know about frogs, write their responses onto a piece of paper and hang it in your science center.  (Frogs lay lots of eggs.  Tadpoles can breath underwater but frogs have to breath through their mouth)

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

Discovery

If you are lucky enough to have tadpoles in a nearby puddle or pond, bring them to school for the children to view.  Make sure to put them back where you found them within 48 hours so they do not die.

Science/Scientific Methods & Skills; develops growing abilities to collect, describe, and record information through a variety of means, including discussion, drawings, maps, and charts.

Hang several metamorphosis pictures on the wall for the children to look at and discuss.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

Music and Movement

Have five children come to the front and act out Five Little Speckled Frogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fF32P24lUCA

Play Leapfrog.  Each child gets a partner.  Child 1 squats down on her hands and knees while child 2 straddles and jumps over child 1.  Switch positions and continue the action of straddling and jumping.

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

LITTLE TADPOLE Sung to “Frere Jacques”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXI7KEUbSxM

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!

Blocks

If you have frog counters, add them to the block center today.  The children can play with them using blocks as logs.  Ask the child to put 5 frogs on a log, 7 frogs, etc..

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to make use of one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.

Art

Cut out the tadpole pieces in many colors or using a variety of papers (I like to use old wrapping paper and magazine pages).  Put the pieces out on the table along with a picture of a tadpole and challenge the children to collage one onto their paper using a glue stick.

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; progresses in ability to put together and take shapes apart.

Sand and Water

Add a package of crystal jelly balls to the water today. Put out small fishnets and scoops. Start with dry crystal jelly beads and allow the children to add water to the center table. Listen to the children’s conversations as the beads start to grow. How do they feel when they are wet? What made them grow?

Science/Scientific Knowledge; shows increased awareness and befining understanding of changes in materials and cause-effect relationships.

Library and Writing

Use the frog and tadpole templates to make an alphabet matching game.  On the tadpole write the lowercase letter and on the frog write the uppercase letter. 

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; shows progress in associating the names of letters with their shapes and sounds.

Dramatic Play

Tell the children that they are going to pretend to be jumping frogs.  Explain that you are going to measure the length of their jumps with a yardstick to see how far they can go. Have a child squat down in a frog position and then jump.   Try other jumps also.  Have the child stand up and jump, measure.  Have the child do a running jump and measure the length of their jump. Jump backwards.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows progress in using standard and non-standard measures for length and area of objects.

Math and Manipulatives

Put out green puff balls and tweezers.  Cut out 1-5 circles from green construction paper.  Write a number 1-5 on each.  The child uses the tweezers to put the correct amount of puffballs onto each lily pad.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to use one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.

Outdoor Play

Lay hula-hoops down on the ground at various short distances from one another.  Encourage the children to pretend to be frogs and jump from one hula-hoop to another.

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

Tadpoles begin life breathing through gills and as they grow they breath through their lungs.  Show children where their lungs are by having them put their hands onto their chest and feeling their lungs go in and out.  Now have the children do some physical exercise for a few minutes and then feel their lungs again.  What differences do they feel?  (Lungs work harder and faster with exertion).  Explain to the children that is good for their lungs and heart to work hard throughout the day, it is exercise for them.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

Transitions

This can be played in a circle, a line, or as a “Froggie Says____” game. Give children a variety of “hopping” commands such as:

  • Hop in one place.
  • Hop and turn in a circle at the same time.
  • Hop on left/right foot.
  • Hop backwards, sideways; make a square or circle.
  • Hop over a line.
  • Hop with a partner.
  • Hop quietly to line up.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; understands an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary.

Resources

Frog’s Lunch, Dee Lillegard

This is a very short and simple story that is fun to teach nutrition and planning a good lunch as well as having some frog fun.

Materials

  • Several copies of the insects page
  • Scarf with a picture of a fly attached to one corner
  • A party blower per child (I have found these at the Dollar Store in the party isle.
  • Masking tape
  • Yardstick or tape measure
  • Shape frogs and shapes

Vocabulary

  • Lily pad (a plant that grows in the water that frogs like to sit on).
  • Carnivore  (a meat eating or animal eating creature)

Before reading the Story

Tell the children that you have been thinking about lunch.  I wonder what it is going to be?  Let the children guess. Ask the children if they know how to find out what lunch will be today (the menu, ask the cook)?  Ask the children what their favorite school lunch is.  Write down their responses on a piece of paper and hang it near the lunch table.

Literacy/Print Awareness & Concepts; recognizes a word as a unit of print, or awareness that letters grouped to form words, and words are separated by spaces.

Reading the Story

Read the title of the story and then ask the children if they know what frogs eat for lunch? Say “I wonder how they get their lunch”? Let the children comment for a moment about what they know about frogs’ diet and then begin the book.

Science/Science Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

After Reading the Story

Ask the children what did the frog have to do to catch his lunch? (He had to sit so still, He had to wait, He had to stay on the lilypad).

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.

Explain to the children you’re going to play a game called Frog’s Lunch.  Use a scarf and attach a picture of a fly to one corner of it .  Explain to the children that they will pretend to be the frog and the scarf is the fly.  Put a pillow or small blanket on the floor to be the lilypad and have a child sit upon it. Tell the child that he/she is the frog and must sit very, very still until it is just the right moment to grab the fly. You, the teacher, are the fly. Hold the scarf over the child’s head and slowly circle it around the child’s head. The other children can make the buzzing noise of the fly. The child who is the frog must try to catch the fly as it circle by. Let the children take turns being the frog.

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

Discovery

In the story, the eyes are very important to the frog in order to catch his lunch.  Put out any kaleidoscope, color paddles, fly eyes, binoculars, magnifying glass, and toilet paper tubes that you have. Encourage the children to look through each and talk with them about how it changes how and what they see.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; develops increasing ability to observe and discuss common properties, differences, and comparisons among objects and materials.

Music and Movement

Teach the children Five Little Speckled Frogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fF32P24lUCA

Let 5 children come to the front of the room and be the frogs. As the children sing and count down, the 5 can take turns jumping into the pool. Sing until everyone gets a turn to be a frog.

Creative Arts/Music; participates with increasing interest and enjoyment in a variety of music activities, including listening, singing, finger plays, games, and performances. AND MAthematics/Number & Operations; demonstrates increasing interest and awareness of numbers and counting as a means for solving problems and determining quantity.

Blocks

Help the children make a frog pond out of blocks. Fill the frog pond with paper cut out insects from the resource page. Gently unroll the party blowers and attached a piece of rolled over masking tape to the end. Show the children how to blow the blower and catch an insect by having it stick to the tape. Make the insects large enough that you can mark them with a letter. Challenge the children to try to catch a letter fly that is in their name. You can also use this for numbers or colors.

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; identifies at least 10 letters of the alphabet, especially those in their own name. AND Approaches to Learning; Engagement & Persistence; grows in abilities to persist in and complete a variety of tasks, activities, projects, and experiences.

Art

Cut out simple frog heads and have the children add eyes and a long tongue. Make it larger that the one shown in the resource section. Now encourage the children to draw insects. (Real insects have three body parts, 6 legs, wings, and antennas). Have the children cut around their insect and glue it to the end of the long tongue.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; develops growing abilities to collect, describe, and record information through a variety of means, including discussion, drawings, maps, and charts. AND Mathematics/ Geometry & Spatial Sense; progresses in ability to put together and take apart shapes.

Library and Writing

Have the children watch Sid The Science Kid video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARD1MAh434w. Encourage the children to draw a nutritious meal that has parts from each of the food groups.

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; shows growing independence in hygiene, nutrition, and personal care when eating, dressing, washing hands, brushing teeth , and toileting.

Sand and water

If you have small frog counters, add plastic lids to be lilypads. How many frogs can the child add to the lilypad before it begins to sink?

Mathematics/Number & Operations; beins to make one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and in matching groups of objects.

Dramatic Play          

Encourage the children to make a healthy meal using the plastic foods from the center. Add some plastic insects that they can embellish their meal with just for fun.  You could also add lunch boxes or lunch sacks. Today might be a good day to encourage the boys to use the dramatic play center.

Creative Arts/ Dramatic Play; participates in a variety of dramatic play activities that become more extended and complex. AND Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; shows growing independence in hygiene, nutrition, and personal care when eating, dressing, washing hands, brushing teeth , and toileting.

Math and Manipulatives

Cut out the frogs with shapes on their bellies and the objects from the resources.  The children match the objects to the correct frog by shape.

Mathematics/Geometry; Spatial Sense; begins to recognize, describe, compare, and name common shapes, their parts and attributes.

Outdoor play

Play Frog in the Middle.  Bring a beanbag out to the playground.  Have two children play toss with the beanbag back and forth.   The third child stands in between the two tossers and tries to intercept and catch the beanbag.  The child in the middle is the frog and the beanbag is his lunch that he must catch.  Once he catches it, the children can change places.

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; participates actively in games, outdoor play, and other forms of exercise that enhance physical fitness.

Explain to the children that frogs are good jumpers. Frogs can jump an average of two feet/24 inches. Mark 2 feet/24 inches on the ground and challenge the children to see if they can jump as far as a frog. Practice jumping from a standing still position, a frog position, and a running broad jump. Use the yardstick to measure how far the children can jump from each position.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows progress in using standard and non-standard measures for length and area of objects.

Transitions

Play Categories as the children go off to the next activity.  Define carnivore for the children as a meat eating or animal eating creature like a frog and people.  The first category is name other animals that are carnivores.  If you use up this category, ask the children to name some foods that a carnivore might eat (bugs, hamburgers, etc).

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem.

Resources