What can we learn about frogs and toads? For one, their presence indicates a healthy environment. Frogs and toads have highly absorbent skin, and when pollutants or pesticides are present in their habitat, they are especially vulnerable. Reduced habitat and the chytrid fungus further affect their survivability. More info here, as well as a poem.
Inspired by Pokemon cards, the image below can be printed on 8.5" x 11" card stock to learn more about individual species. This is a great way to teach children how to do research. These cards were tested with third graders. They wrote their frog's name in the top box, and drew a picture of it in the larger box. The small circle on the top right was to indicate their frog's status: L for Least Threatened, E for Endangered, C for Common, R for Rare.
Next, students wrote the Latin name, lending it "magical" appeal. They noted length in inches. They should be able to write three or so sentences about their frog or toad. We decided to have students write this part in first person. Students also researched the call, diet, habitat, and range of their species. Note that "habitat" means where they live, be it near water, in a field, under a log, etc., and "range" means how big of an area they are found in, such as the East Coast. I also added a "defense" category, which could include toxins, camouflage, or simply hopping away to avoid predators. You can learn frog and toad calls here. We got a lot of quick info here.
How to draw a frog here.
Another version here:
Have fun creating your amphibian card! Become a Citizen Science Frog Watcher here. Send us a comment! We'd love to hear from you!
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RI's Frogwatch Newsletter (Spadefoot Toads and graphed data for April and May):