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Combine Nonfiction and Science for Springtime Fun

Spring is a perfect time to explore the wonderful world of science. Young students are curious and imaginative and love learning about their environment.

A favorite science subject for springtime study has been the life cycle of a frog. It’s also a great opportunity to combine reading nonfiction and making an easy hands-on “wheel” project to deepen comprehension. Two great books that I have used are Frogs, by Gail Gibbons, and From Tadpole to Frog, by Wendy Pfeffer.

Here’s how to start:

  • Get one of the above-mentioned books or other age-appropriate frog life cycle books from your local library. Your librarian can help find a variety of books on this subject. 
  • Read together and help your child focus on the sequence and stages of becoming a frog. When done reading, talk about how the tadpole changes into a frog.

For the wheel project you’ll need two white paper plates, a small brad to connect them in the middle, a ruler, scissors, pencil, and crayons or markers. Then follow these steps:

  • Divide one paper plate into four equal sections with the ruler.
  • Help your child draw and label the four stages of a frog’s life cycle—egg, tadpole, froglet, and frog—one in each section. 
  • On the second paper plate, cut out a pie-shaped wedge, about the size of one section on the other plate.
  • Put the cut paper plate on top of the plate with the drawings. One section should be visible. 
  • With the pencil point or scissors, punch a small hole in the middle of both plates and connect with the brad.
  • Your child can now turn the top plate to reveal the sequence and stages from eggs to frog.

 

If there is a pond in your neighborhood, go there together with a bucket and look for eggs. Bring a few home, and together observe the changes. When tadpoles turn into froglets, return them and any unhatched eggs to the pond. 

 

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