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1.  What you can do
2.  Water
3.  Ecology
4.  Amphibians
5.  Environmental Issues
6.  Keystone species
7.  Get Wet!-
     Field Study Ideas

8.  The Zoo Experience
9.  Frogs & Friends
10. Case Studies
11. Resources
12. Glossary

Wetland Curriculum Resource
Unit 4. Amphibians - Background for Educators

4 :: Habitat)

Purpose: To create a simulated wetland habitat suited for amphibians.

What You Need: glue :: scissors :: drawing paper :: construction paper :: crayons and/or markers :: field guides and/or pictures of amphibians :: shoe box (or small box of comparable size)

What You Do:

  1. Cut a piece of drawing paper to fit one long side of the box. This will represent the water in your wetland habitat once it is turned on its side.
  2. Colour in a water scene, adding lily pads or other things that amphibians need.
  3. Cut a piece of paper to fit the bottom of the box. This will represent the background once the box is turned on its side. You can colour in plants, trees, a sky, and other things found in a wetland scene.
  4. Glue both the water and background drawings into your box.
  5. Take some construction paper and cover the outside of the box to further create a wetland scene.
  6. Using reference material, select 3 or more amphibians that you would like to include in your wetland. Select a few food species (dragonflies, grasshoppers, beetles).
  7. Draw and colour your choices, and then cut out your amphibians. Be sure to cut small tabs with your pictures. The tabs will help your pictures stand up.
  8. Glue your amphibians in different locations in your box. Larger pictures could be up front, while smaller pictures could be in the back. This will give it a 3-D effect. Add the food species.
  9. Sit back and watch your wetland come to life, listening for frogs calling. (The Adopt-A-Pond Program has a tape of Ontario frog calls). In small groups, have each member imitate a frog call, while the rest of the group tries to guess which species they are imitating. Repeat until all of the frog calls have been successfully identified.


  1. Create an advertisement selling the features of a habitat which will attract a frog, toad, newt, or salamander. Include any special or interesting features of your habitat. A number of the submissions will be chosen for publication in the "Amphibian Voice" newsletter.

    Send copies to: Adopt-A-Pond
    c/o The Toronto Zoo
    361 A Old Finch Ave.
    Scarborough, ON.
    M1B 5K7

  2. Write an information brochure trying to entice visitors to a wetland area. Be sure to include significant wetland features, including plants and animals. Use other travel brochures as a guide.
  3. Have students bring in pictures of places where amphibians live. Be sure to include vegetation and water which are critical components of amphibian habitat. Make a class collage with the pictures
  4. Discuss with the students the devastating effect that removing a frog from its home can have. Frogs and toads can become disorientated and unable to find appropriate food, shelter, or hibernation sites. Have students imagine how they would feel if they were dropped off in a strange neighbourhood, and did not know how to find their homes. Write a story about an amphibian who was taken from his home.

Click here to see the list of activities for this unit.


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