Activities and Lesson Plans

Cover-Amazing Amphibians

TPW Magazine, May 2010
If you don't have a copy of the TPW magazine, you may print a copy of Amazing Amphibians (pdf).

Amazing Amphibians
Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine,
May 2010

You may print Amazing Amphibians children's pages from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine. We hope you'll consider a subscription to our magazine. Be sure to check out the Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine special offer for teachers. And please let us know your suggestions for future issues at: education@tpwd.state.tx.us

Suggested Topics: adaptations, classifications, systems, habitat, environment

Related 4th Grade TEKS:

Social Studies:
4.9 A, B, C - Geography : Humans Adapt to and Modify their Environment
4.22 A, B - Social Studies Skills : Use Critical Thinking to Organize and Use Information from a Variety of Sources
4.23 B, D - Social Studies Skills : Communicates in Written, Oral and Visual Forms
4.24 B - Social Studies Skills : Problem Solving and Decision Making
Math:
4.3 D - Number, Operations and Quantitative Reasoning : Addition and Subtraction
4.13 A - Probability and Statistics : Solve Problems by Collecting, Organizing, Displaying and Inerpreting Data
4.15 A, B - Underlying Processes and Mathematical Tools : Communicates about Math
4.16 A, B - Underlying Processes and Mathematical Tools : Uses Logical Reasoning
English /Language Arts:
4.2 A - Reading/Vocabulary Development
4.11 A - Reading/Comprehension of Informational Text/Expository Text
4.13 A, B - Reading/Comprehension of Informational Text/Procedural Texts
4.15 B - Writing/Writing Process; compose text<
4.16 B - Writing/Literary Texts; compose text
4.18 A - Writing/Expository and Procedural Texts; compose text
4.23 A - Research/Research Plan
4.24 A, C - Research/Gathering Sources
4.26 - Research/Organizing and Presenting Ideas.
4.27 A - Listening and Speaking/Listening
4.29 - Listening and Speaking/Teamwork
Science:
4.9 A, B - Organisms and environments; interactions and needs
4.10 A - Organisms and environments; adaptations and survival

Discussion Questions

  • Name at least three characteristics of an amphibian. What is similar and what is different between an amphibian and a reptile?
  • How is an amphibian like a transformer?
  • What threats are there for amphibians?
  • How can you help amphibians?
  • To think about: what role do amphibians play in an ecosystem?

Activities

  • Texas Nature Trackers: Amphibian Watch (info, links and monitoring activities)
  • Year of the Frog Classroom Presentation
  • A Guide to Common Frogs Across Texas  (An audio CD of frog and toad calls in Texas is available from Texas Amphibian Watch for $5.00 by calling (512) 389-8062.)
  • Year of the Frog Adult Education 
  • Wildlife Watch

    Project WILD activity suggestions

    • Aqua Words - (WILD Aquatic) Students brainstorm water words; make word trees with those words; and write poetic statements about water. Students describe a variety of ways and reasons why water is important to people and wildlife. Requires writing materials.
    • Are You Me? - (WILD Aquatic) Using picture cards students match pairs of juvenile and adult aquatic animals. Upon completion students recognize various adult and juvenile stages of aquatic animals; and define metamorphosis. Requires Are You Me cards and art supplies
    • Blue Ribbon Niche - (WILD Aquatic) Students create a variety of representations of wildlife that can be found in riparian areas. Upon completion students identify different riparian organisms; describe the ecological role of some riparian organisms; describe basic characteristics of riparian zones; and evaluate potential positive and negative effects from changes in riparian zones.
    • Dragonfly Pond - (WILD Aquatic) Students create a collage of human land use activities around an image of a pond. Upon completion students evaluate the effects of different kinds of land use on wetland habitats; and discuss and evaluate lifestyles changes to minimize damaging effects on wetlands. Requires for each team scissors; masking tape; paper; 2 sets of Land Use Patterns; one Dragonfly Pond map; and a large piece of paper.
    • How Many Bears Can Live in this Forest? - (How many Frogs Texas variation)Students become "bears" to look for one or more components of habitat during this physical activity. Upon completion students define major component of habitats; and identify limiting factors. Requires five colors of construction paper (2 or 3 sheets) or an equal amount of light poster board; one black felt pen; envelopes (one/student); pencils; one blindfold. Optional five sheets green of construction paper.
    • Improving Wildlife Habitat in the Community - Students design and accomplish a project to improve wildlife habitat in their community. Upon completion students apply their knowledge of wildlife by describing essential components of habitat in an arrangement appropriate for the wildlife they identify; and evaluate compatible and incompatible uses of an area by people and specified kinds of wildlife. Requires writing and drawing materials; poster or butcher paper; or model making materials like plaster of Paris, clay small replicas of animals, etc.
    • Litter We Know - Students collect and evaluate litter, making collages. Upon completion students identify and evaluate ways that litter pollution can endanger wildlife; and propose ways they can help eliminate these dangers. Requires large sheets of butcher paper for mounting collages; glue; different types of litter; work gloves; trash sacks.
    • Silt: A Dirty Word - (WILD Aquatic) Students create a model to simulate changes to a stream and its water flow when silt and/or sand are added to the system. Upon completion students describe how sand and/or silt affects water flow; and identify human activities that add sand and silt to surface water. Requires for each group a clear plastic 1 gallon container; gravel to cover bottom of container; water to fill the container 1" from the top; 1 cup coarse sand; 1 cup silt; and three straws per person.
    • What's in the Water? - (WILD Aquatic) Students analyze the pollutants found in a hypothetical river. They graph the quantities of pollutants and make recommendations about actions that could be taken to improve the habitat. Upon completion students identify major sources of aquatic pollution; and make inferences about the potential effects of a variety of aquatic pollutants on wildlife and wildlife habitats. Requires nine different colors of construction paper; writing or graph paper; scotch tape or glue; paper punch; Pollution Information sheets; ¼ teaspoon; 1 tablespoon.

Additional Resources:

Teacher Guides
National Geographic Young Explorer Teacher's Guide "Explore a Wetland"
National Geographic Explorer Teacher's Guide "Fantastic Frogs"
Tadpole transformation: http://teacher.scholastic.com/lessonrepro/lessonplans/profbooks/tadpole.pdf
British Ecological Society - Amphibian adaptations at http://www.britishecologicalsociety.org/documents/education/adaptations_ponds.pdf
Videos on Frog Life Cycles
http://www.blinkx.com/watch-video/life-cycle-of-a-frog/0K-zCH3QikHoKR0wS2_s8w
http://vodpod.com/watch/1980941-classic-sesame-street-animation-frog-life-cycle
http://www.teachertube.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=60918
Species Guides
TPWD Texas Amphibian Watch guide to Frogs and Toads Found in Texas
eNature Field Guide

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