Students will complete an in depth study of an animal that lives near them.
One per class:
- 4-5 sheets of chart paper
- animal of teacher's choice
- books and other resources to obtain information about the given animal
One per student:
- pencil and/or crayons
All About Frogs by Jim Arnosky
Amazing Frogs and Toads by Barry Clarke, Eyewitness Juniors
Frogs by Gail Gibbons
How to Hide, A Meadow Frog by Ruth Heller
It’s a Frog’s Life by Steve Parker
The Frog Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta
Tale of a Tadpole by Barbara Ann Porte
Frog’s Eggs by Alex Ramsay and Paul Humphrey
From Tadpole to Frog by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
Background for Teachers
The teacher will be responsible for identifying an animal that can
easily be found and observed in the local area. The setting in which
children observe or interact with the animal should be safe both for the
child and the animal. Some creatures to consider are insects, worms,
frogs, toads, lizards, turtles, rabbits, birds, and fish. The teacher should
be prepared to help the children find books, web-sites, resource people,
etc. so they can find information to answer questions generated by the
Intended Learning Outcomes
Intended Learning Outcomes
1. Demonstrate a positive learning attitude.
5. Understand and use basic concepts and skills.
6. Communicate clearly in oral, artistic, written and nonverbal form.
Observation, description, data collection and interpretation, investigation,
problem solving, form conclusions
Invitation to Learn
Create an anticipation guide to introduce the animal that will be studied by
the class. An appropriate anticipation guide for kindergarten students would
consist of three to five true or false questions written on a chart or overhead.
The students listen and follow along as the teacher reads aloud the questions.
After each question the class indicates whether the answer is true or false. This can be done by having the students
show thumbs up for true or thumbs down for false. The teacher can write on the
chart or overhead the response that the majority of the students indicate. The
teacher then reads a short selection of text that answers each of the questions.
After listening to the text, the teacher and students reread the questions and
check to see if their answers are correct. Each question should be clearly answered
from a portion of the text (see the example "Anticipation Guide"
Tell the students that they are going to begin an in depth study of an animal
that lives near them. The study of frogs will be the example given here. However,
these steps and strategies can be used to study any topic of the teacher or
- Give each student a clipboard, pencil, and paper. Take students to a place
where they can carefully observe a frog. Students should record with drawings
and words the interesting things they notice about the frog.
- After making individual observations, ask the class to share their observations
with the class. The teacher should record these findings on a large chart
paper entitled "Our Observations About a Frog."
- Ask the class, "Now that we have made some interesting observations
about the frog, do you have any questions that you wonder about or that come
to your mind?" Record the class questions on another chart entitled
"Our Questions About a Frog." It is suggested that the class only
record three to five questions that are especially interesting to them. This
will make finding the answers to the given questions more manageable.
- Tell the class, "These are some great questions! I can't wait
to find out the answers to these questions. Do any of you have some ideas
about how we could get answers to our questions?" The class will brainstorm
a variety of ways to get answers to questions. The list should at least include
different kinds of books, internet options, resource people, and possible
places to visit.
- The teacher should model for students and help them understand the different
ways that questions can be answered. This is an example of modeling how to
read and listen to find answers in books. A teacher could begin by saying,
"I think we could do some reading so we can answer our questions. I'll
read part of this book. Listen for information that might answer this question
(identify a specific question for the question chart) and give me the thumbs
up sign when you hear some information we should remember." After reading,
allow the students to tell the answer they think they heard to a partner sitting
near them. Record the answer the class agrees upon on a separate chart entitled,
"Answers to Our Questions?" This chart should be placed by the
question chart so that the students can clearly see the relationship between
the question and the answer. This process of finding answers to questions
is repeated over several days until all of the questions have been answered.
- Throughout the animal research process, a separate chart containing content
vocabulary words could be created. The chart may be entitled, "Words
About Frogs." As the class comes across new vocabulary words in their
reading the words could be added to the chart. One or two students could draw
a simple picture next to the word illustrating its meaning. This list does
not need to be lengthy. Rather it should simply meet the immediate needs of
- After the class has found answers to their questions, the students may
be asked to work independently or with a partner to draw a picture and write
a simple sentence showing their understanding of one of the new facts they
learned. These pages could be shared orally with the class and then compiled
into a class book.
Each child should select a local animal of their choice to research at home
with their family and create a book about the animal to share with the class
(see the example parent letter and animal fact book format).
As an entire class, create a summary paragraph about what the class learned
and what they would still like to know. The paragraph could be written on chart
paper or on the overhead (see the example summary paragraph).