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Tadpole to Frog

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes! What animals change more than tadpoles? Show the life stages of frogs in this hopping biology project.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. During an investigation into life forms, including amphibians, ask students to consider comparing changes in their own bodies with changes that occur as a tadpole matures into a frog. Create two lists on a classroom white board to make these comparisons using Crayola Dry Erase Markers.
    2. Organize students into pairs to investigate this fascinating growth process. With Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils, team members jot down notes about each stage and sketch the features that will be included on models.
    3. Once research is complete, ask students to cover their work space with recycled newspaper. Provide each team with brown Crayola Model Magic that they will shape into a newly hatched tadpole. (If only white Model Magic is available, students can knead the brown color from a Crayola Ultra-Clean Marker into white Model Magic.) Ask students what a tadpole's gills look like at this early stage? How can they replicate this?
    4. To form a more mature tadpole whose hind legs have appeared and head bulges where future front legs will grow. suggest students add some green Model Magic or knead green color from a washable marker to show the slight change in hue.
    5. To create the third stage of life for this fascinating amphibian, students will blend in additional green Model Magic. This creature’s tail gets shorter as its front legs appear.
    6. Next the immature frog’s eyes seem to grow bigger while the tail all but disappears. Front and back legs become stronger and more functional.
    7. To complete their artwork, invite students to color a habitat for their frog display using Crayola Construction Paper Crayons and construction paper.
    8. Encourage teams to compose a summary paragraph of their research. This should be displayed with their artwork in the classroom.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Represent and interpret data.

    SCI: Investigate the life cycles of plants and animals to compare similarities and differences among organisms.

    SS: Explore causes, consequences, and possible solutions to persistent, contemporary, and emerging global issues, such as pollution and endangered species.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Frogs, Toads & Turtles: Take Along Guide by Diane Burns; Face to Face with Frogs by Mark Moffett; National Geographic Readers: Frogs! by Elizabeth Carney; Frog: A Photographic Portrait by Tom Jackson & Thomas Marant

    Students label their displays with information including actual size and time since hatching. A photograph or model of the frog's egg sac could be included to completely round out the circle. Students draw a changing background to illustrate the journey from pond to bank. Use Crayola Colored Pencils for this sketch.

    Students work in teams of two to investigate species of frogs that have been placed on the endangered species list. Research why the selected species has been deemed endangered, as well as what is being done to protect the remaining members of the species. Organize research into an electronic presentation for viewing by classmates.

    Students work in small groups to write a short story or play about the transformation from tadpole to frog. What is the organism thinking? Does it hurt? Students should be prepared to present their story/play to classmates.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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