Friday, May 6, 2011

Learning by Heart – Frogs

“The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom”
– Henry Ward Beecher

~M is 4.5 years old~ 

public domain image of frog

May 18th will be our final day of “school” here – I can’t believe it is just around the corner!  To be honest, we aren’t doing all that much right now.  The weather is unpredictable, and I’m trying to go with the flow… not planning too much and saving what is planned for rainy days.

We have had an unofficial frog theme going on for a while.  I’m not sure how it all started, but I think it was the song “Froggy Went A-Courtin’”, which I taught to M in early March for some reason.  (I have always loved that song!)  And then there were some Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel that M picked up at our library.  Have you read any of these with your child?  I’ve heard of them quite a bit, but have had trouble understanding the big deal about them.  Well.  Now I do.  They are hilarious, and obviously Mr. Lobel understands children.  M loves these books.

Then one of our nature center classes was all about frogs and toads and we learned so much!  It was perfect timing!  I wish I had brought my camera!  We learned that toads are bumpy and prefer to live on dry land, while frogs have smooth skin and prefer to live in ponds (mostly).  Both have a nasty-tasting liquid that comes from a bump behind their eyes (and sometimes other areas of their skin)  that keeps other animals from wanting to eat them.  Both come from eggs and are called tadpoles when they hatch.  You can also call them polliwogs. :)

And so a mini frog unit was begun.

M cut out pieces from this lifecycle wheel and put them together (with a little help) to make a frog lifecycle chart:frog lifecycle wheel He really enjoyed doing this on his own.

We did a quick activity to learn about webbed feet, and how they work.  No photos of this, but you can learn about it here.

M made a little Frog nomenclature book (and fell in love with the stapler in the process; pretty much every piece of paper in our home is currently stapled in some way).  I intended to make cards for him to match up, but realized that he would get more out of it by just making the whole thing himself.  I found the cards here, at Montessori Print Shop.  M colored the appropriate area on each card and labeled it, then we made it into a book.  This was a big hit – I guess I need to remember that now he is getting to the age where he will enjoy making his own materials instead of having them made for him!

M’s nomenclature book (I promised him I would show you the entire thing, so here you go!):frog nomenclature 1Front cover

frog nomenclature 2head, eyes

frog nomenclature 3mouth, neck (or “heck” if you prefer, heehee)

frog nomenclature 4body, arm
(Actually he was supposed to copy “trunk”, and “foreleg”, but chose what just made more sense to him. 
A writer’s prerogative, right?)

frog nomenclature 5hindlegs, webbed feet (minus the “webbed”)

He has his father’s penmanship. ;) 

Just for Fun…

These were miscellaneous activities that were out on M’s shelves for him, and tied into the frog theme.

Color by Number – I found this coloring page in an online book I purchased quite a while back.  I printed it and then made a color key for M, curious to see how he would do with this kind of thing.  He really enjoyed it! Color by Number Activity

Pin Punching shapes – the large shapes used for these were also in an online book (Scholastic had a lot of their books on sale for $1.00 earlier this year – what a great deal!).  I printed these out on colored paper, then M used a large push pin to punch holes all the way around.  Once they were perforated, we punched the picture out.  He enjoyed this more than I imagined, and did all 5 of the pictures I had out for him.  This proves that he can focus on something that takes a lot of time when he wants to!

pin-punch pictures

frog, completely punched out


Mosaics – I found these great little mosaic pictures at Dollar Tree.  They have been a huge hit, and great fine motor skill work:working on a mosaic

 finished frog mosaic


And, of course, we read lots and lots of books about frogs!

Frog and Toad Are Friends, by Arnold Lobel:image

Frog and Toad Together, by Arnold Lobel:image

The Frogs and Toads All Sang, by Arnold Lobel:image

Frog and Toad All Year, by Arnold Lobel:image

If You Hopped Like A Frog, by David Schwartz:image

From Tadpole to Frog, by Wendy Pfeffer:image

The Adventures of Grandfather Frog, by Thornton Burgess:image


public domain

I’m linking this post up to Preschool Corner and Weekly Wrap-Up; be sure to check them out!

Have a beautiful day! :)



  1. Love this! Frog and Toad were my favorite books as a child!


  2. What a great learning time about frogs! We did a frog theme last year and Sammy LOVED it! I love how he chose which words he wanted to write on his cards!

  3. Bookmarked this-want to do our own frog theme in a couple of weeks! Love how the mosaic turned out!

  4. Great activities I LOVE the Frog and Toad series!

  5. I think you've definitely covered frogs! Looks like everything was a lot of fun.
    Janet W

  6. Congrats on getting close to the end of the school year. I loved seeing M's handwriting - it looks so much like Anna's. We have a collection of Frog and Toad in our home library - we liked it so much that we bought our own. Anna also finds them funny.

  7. how fun. Impromptu units are often the best :-)

  8. What a great week! Love the mosaic! Stopping by from Weekly Wrap-up.

  9. Thanks so much for the lifecycle link!! I'll be looking for the mosaics too. Great week!


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