FROGS & FRIENDS - FUN FOR PRE-SCHOOLERS AND OTHER POLLYWOGS
Before these activities it helps if you discuss the sounds and calls that frogs make. Frogs call to identify their territory and to attract a mate. And frogs don't just say "ribbit". If possible, play a tape of individual frog calls or many frogs singing together (see Unit 12: Resources).
A Frog Chorus....
Divide into three groups. Each group becomes a type of frog: Spring Peepers, Green Frogs Or Bullfrogs. Have each group practice their frog call. Peepers repeat "peep, peep...." in a high pitched voice. Green frogs call out "chung, chung...." in a medium pitch, and the bullfrogs say, in a deep tone "Jug-o'-rum, Jug-o'-rum....".
Frog Pond Band
Let the kids play frog band instruments:
Green Frog - strum a rubber band
After they have practised individually, they can all play together to create a frog chorus.
On your next hike, try making a frog pond chorus. Divide into groups and assign each group a frog type (and sound!):
Spring Peeper "peeep" Gray Tree Frog "barp" Cricket Frog "click, click" Chorus Frog "cleek" Wood Frog "cluck" Bullfrog "buurrum" or "Jug-o'-rum" American Toad "awwwww" Green Frog "boing" or "chung"
Little Green Frog
There's a little green frog swimming in the water
Little tadpole, little tadpole,
Frog Lives in the Pond
The frog lives in the pond,
FROG JUMP: (This activity is best outside or in the gym.)
What You Need:
For younger children: Frog outlines - photocopy actual size outlines enclosed and make enough to show each jump (e.g. Bullfrog - 11 copies - 1 for the frog and 10 to show body lengths; Leopard Frog - 14 outlines; S.African Sharp-nosed Frog - 45 outlines)
For older children: at least 50 metres of rope or string
Frogs are great jumpers! Many can jump as far at 10 times their body length. Here at the "leap lengths" for just a few frogs:
Frog Length of Frog Maximum Jump Bullfrog 20.3 cm 213.5c cm (>10 x body length) Leopard frog 12.5 cm 162.5 cm (13 x body length) South African 7.6 cm 334.4 cm (44 x body length!) sharp-nosed frog (World Record Holder!)
Begin by asking the children to leap as far as they can from a standing position. Record the distance. Discuss how far they could jump. Now, ask them to sit around you in a circle and show them the cut-outs of the three frogs. You can explain that, just as people come in different sizes, so do frogs. Ask them what they know about frogs (e.g. eat flies, hop). Explain how important it is for frogs to be able to jump quickly to get away from animals that might eat them and how jumping helps them to snatch a meal from mid-air.
Lay the frog outlines down in a row to show how far a frog can jump compared to its body length. You may want to make some other comparisons (eg. if the bullfrog could jump as many times its body length as the S. African frog, how far could it jump?)
Have the children try leaping again. Have them compare the length of their jumps to their body length. They can do this by lying on the ground or by using a string. Then ask ten children to volunteer to lie down and show the length of their jumps if they were bullfrogs, add three to show a leopard frog's jump and then, if you want, try the sharp-nosed frog!
This exercise can also be done using a string or rope. Create string pieces that correspond to the length of each kind of frog to be used, and to the frogs' best jumps. Take the average body length of the children in your class and calculate their "jump length" for 10 x, 13 x, and 44x their body length.
How can frogs jump so far? Look at their back legs. Just like you, they have big, strong muscles in their thighs, but, for their size, these muscles' are immense. Not only that, their leg is specially built to provide even more power.
Extra Energy? Try the "Peep Leap". The greatest number of consecutive jumps for a frog is 120 for a freshly caught adult spring peeper, which was placed on a grassy lawn. Can your students beat this record?
Cut a large lily pad from green poster board and tape it to the floor. Play leap frog in a team relay. The first team to reach the lily pad wins.
Lily Pad Hop
Make several lily pad cutouts. Tape each to the floor of the playing area. Keeping legs together, the children try to hop from pad to pad. As they learn how to do this, move the pads farther apart. You could place numbers or letters on the pads to help with learning counting, mathematics, or learning the alphabet.
Frog in the Middle
Divide into groups of three. One child will be the frog, the other two are flies. The flies toss a beanbag "fly" to each other as the frog leaps into the air and tries to intercept and "eat" the "fly". Each child should have the chance to be the frog.
Bugs for Me! (based on "Red Light, Green Light")
Frogs and toads have good eyesight and they depend on it to catch moving insects. Insects that stay very still are usually passed over.
One person is the frog (or toad). The rest are insects and they form a line 5 - 10 metres away from the frog. The "safe area" is located across an imaginary line that runs through the frog.
Standing with her/his back to the insects, the frog counts out loud, "1-2-3, bugs for me!" and turns around quickly to try and catch any insects seen moving towards the safe area, designated by a line that is even with the frog. The insects want to "freeze in place" before the frog turns around and sees them moving. They want to remain undetected and to cross the line to safety. line. Any insects seen moving by the frog are eaten and must sit down to await the next round.
You need: sheet of green paper :: crayons :: craft eyes :: scissors :: popsicle stick
Trace child's hand on green paper and cut out. Use crayons or markers to add frog features to the cutout. Glue eyes in place at the heel of the hand cutout. Glue the popsicle stick to cutout to make a puppet.
Make a frog that stands up! Cut a piece of construction paper or thin poster board in a triangle shape. Roll it into a funnel and tape it. Make cardboard eyes and legs and cut a tongue from yarn or string. Glue on the legs and eyes and tape in the tongue.
Make a Toad House
You'll need: clay flower pot or wooden box :: instrument for making holes in clay pot/box (drill, hammer and nail, etc.) :: large shallow pan.
Toads may not use your toad home if there are other hiding spots, but it is a nice garden ornament (with a message!)
Frog Jigglers and Toad Treats
To show the difference between the skin texture of frogs and toads make green Jello jiggler frogs and rice crispy treat toads. Use a frog cookie cutter or copy one of the frog outlines contained here onto cardboard. Use the cutout as a pattern and cut around it with a sharp knife.
Green Speckled Frog on a Log
To make this ice cream specialty, lay a large-size pretzel log in a bowl or on a plate. Place a scoop of green mint chocolate chip ice cream on top of it. Add Smarties or M & Ms for eyes and a piece of red licorice lace for a smile or tongue. If you want, sprinkle a few raisins nearby for flies!!!
Froggy Trail Mix
Kids love to pretend they are eating real frog food...bugs, worms, beetles and goldfish. Let them make up their own froggy trail mix using cereals, nuts, raisins, dried fruits, pretzel sticks, candies and mini-fish crackers.
Why was the garter snake having trouble speaking?.....It had a frog in its throat!
FROG OUTLINES - Use with "Frog Jump"; use Leopard Frog outline, on stiff cardboard as a cut-out stencil for "Frog Jigglers and Toad Treats"
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