Curriculum Materials

For Educators: Curriculum Toolkit

Education experts on The Amphibian Project 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. This page can also be downloaded as a pdf file.

Classroom Curricula

Field Projects and Hands on Activities

Fundraising Ideas for Students

Additional Web Sites

 


 Amphibian Activity Spotlight!

Are you in need of a fun, easy and interactive amphibian related activity for your next festival or event?!

Try the Toad Maze! This original and outrageous obstacle course can be set up in the classroom or the great outdoors utilizing a few simple materials you might have lying around. Use your creativity and adapt it to fit your available resources, focal species or specific conservation issue. This can be the salamander, frog or caecilian maze too! Audiences range from 2 years old to adult! Contact rachel@amphibianark.org.

 

Classroom Curricula

Title Grade Description
The Vanishing Frog 3-5 Investigate the current situation and reasons behind the global amphibian crisis.
Draw conclusions, summarize, and present important information about the plight of amphibians.
The Vanishing Frog 6-8 Research an endangered or threatened amphibian species.
Identify strategies for saving one amphibian species.
Persuade others to take action to save the species.
The Vanishing Frog 9-12 Debate critical issues about the current global plight of the amphibians.
Identify specific strategies that could help save the amphibians.
Create an action plan for applying service to their own community.
An Educator’s Guide to the Houston Toad K-6 The Houston Toad is one of the most endangered amphibians in North America. This very comprehensive book delivers a wide range of lessons and activities some of which are specific to the Houston Toad, and others which could be applied to any species of frogs and toads.
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.
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.
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.
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.
 

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 South-eastern 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. If you are interested in trying this option, contact us and we will reach out to breeders for you.
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 an AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) 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. 

Download the AArk’s Teach the Amphibian Crisis document, that was put together as part of the Year of the Frog campaign.

Download more Helpful Links for Educators.

Additional Web Sites

iFrogis a free educational website created to teach people of all ages about frogs and toads. iFrog is packed with facts, current news, worldwide herpetological expos, pictures, games and much more.
This site is meant to serve as a portal into the world and plight of one of the most important faunas this world has to offer. A diverse array of creatures that, if left to extinction by any means, will devastate the circle of life.

 

Some General Web Sites:

 

Some Scientific Web Sites and Documents:

Amphibians on the web   http://armi.usgs.gov/
National Environmental Education Week   http://www.amphibianark.org/pdf/ACAP.pdf
International Zoo Educators Association – Amphibian Crisis   http://amphibiaweb.org/index.html
AZA – Amphibian Education Materials   http://www.globalamphibians.org/index.html
http://allaboutfrogs.org/froglnd.shtml   http://amphibians.org/
http://kiddyhouse.com/Themes/frogs/   Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) – A toolkit for National Focal Points and NBSAP coordinators
http://www.frogsonice.com/froggy/pictures.shtml    
http://michelesworld.net/frogs/    
http://www.froggyville.com    
http://kids.yahoo.com/directory/Science-and-Nature/Living-Things/Animals/Reptiles-and-Amphibians    
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