This is one of my favorite units we cover all year. I still remember reading the Frog and Toad book series as a little kid. I have fond memories of the books and love to share them with my students! And, it’s exciting to see those struggling readers want to pick them up and read them with success. It’s a win-win for all of us.
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Let’s Start with Reading
If it isn’t enough to love the book series, our 2nd grade reading curriculum is Reading Street, which has the story A Froggy Fable in it. Not all of the stories in our basal are interesting, but this story is one my students enjoy. Plus, we spend the week reading Frog and Toad books during guided reading (with my lower level groups), Read to Self, and as a read aloud. Then, we tie it altogether through an amphibian study in science, focused more on frogs and toads, of course!
While reading this week, we continue our focus on building reading fluency, but start to discuss more heavily about specific strategies for reading comprehension. So, we discuss background knowledge about frogs and toads, and how it can help us understand the story better. Then, we read both Frog and Toad All Year and A Froggy Fable, retelling the story to a partner.
After we are finished reading, the following day I introduce adjectives and we map out on chart paper the traits of both Frog and Toad as characters. We discuss which character we like better and why. You’d think more students would like Frog, but surprisingly, it’s usually split almost even. I love hearing their thinking about the different reasons why they would want to be each character.
During centers, I also use construction paper to cut pages for a book and my students use the Frog Life Cycle page from this FREE Frogs Resource Unit. Since they discuss animal life cycles in science in 1st grade I do a quick review before assigning this activity by reading Amazing Amphibians, a short non-fiction text from Scholastic.
During Work on Writing, students read the book Frog and Toad are Friends either independently or with a partner. When they are finished, they complete a responsive descriptive writing about Toads lost button using lots of adjectives to describe his button.
And of course, everyone loves doing the frog and toad art project! Last year, student chose whether they would want to make a frog or a toad and they glued it onto a lily pad. This year, we all made frogs that were eating flies. There’s so many fun ideas out there to do and so little time. It will be interesting to see what it morphs into next year.
We started the week out in science by reading Frogs by Gail Gibbons. We wrote facts on a giant toad I drew from projecting an image onto my whiteboard and tracing it on brown bulletin board paper. My 2nd grade co-teacher across the hall wrote facts with her class about frogs. Then, we hung both charts in the hall to display with a few of our art projects. Students also completed a FREE Venn diagram graphic organizer comparing the similarities and differences of frogs and toads.
At the end of the week, they completed a writing piece with 5 facts about frogs, which we revised and edited before publishing.
And that’s it! I wish I could do this unit for about 1/3 of the year because kids really do love studying animals, and frogs, toads, and other amphibians are so fascinating!
Have other frog and toad activities you like to do with your students? Please share in the comments. I would love to hear about them!