Amphibian Lesson180223_1804527801542_1490303688_1924226_5912687_n


Objective:  Help children learn some of the traits for amphibians and compare to other animals.  (You may want to organize your amphibian theme activities into 2 lessons.)


  • Find drawings or pictures of frogs, toads and salamanders from books, magazines or old calendars.
  • Cut sheets of legal size papers in half lengthwise and accordion fold it them into 4 sections. Have crayons, pencils or markers for the children to draw with.
  • Gather materials: Paper plates; Green, red and white construction paper; Watercolor paint and glue.  (Optional second day activity.  Paint the paper plate green on the first day.)
  • Find a book to read about the life cycle of a frog. Some excellent books are:     Tadpole to Frog by Jan Kottke    Fantastic Frogs by Fay Robinson   The Big Wide-mouthed Frogby Ana Martin Larranaga


What is an amphibian?

  1. Amphibians are animals that metamorphose from a water animal to a land animal.
  2. Amphibians include frogs, toads and salamanders. Show pictures and discuss differences
  3. Toads have dry, warty skin, while frogs have smooth, wet skin.
  4. Frogs have tiny teeth on both upper and lower jaws, while toads do not have teeth.
  5. Frogs have longer hind legs than toads. So frogs jump, while toads hop.
  6. Salamanders have a long body and a tail. Frogs and toads are shorter and have no tail.

Define metamorphosis and discuss.  Change of physical form

Discussion questions:

  1. What information about amphibians did you like the most?
  2. What are the main differences between a frog and toad?
  3. What is a tadpole?
  4. What other animals change or go through metamorphosis? Butterflies
  5. Where does a tree frog live? In the trees of the rain forest.
  6. Where does a bull frog live? In freshwater ponds, lakes and marshes.

Read a book and discuss each stage of the life cycle:

  1. Eggs.
  2. Tadpoles have gills, similar to fish, covered and protected by a flap of skin. As they continue to develop, their hind legs form and grow. Then their tail begins to shrink and the front legs appear.
  3. Soon the gills are gone, and the tadpole begins to breathe air at the surface, with his brand new lungs.
  4. Soon after transforming into froglets or toadlets, they begin life out of the water and start eating insects.


  • The Frog Life Cycle Book  Accordion fold a half sheet of legal size paper into four pages. Label each page as follows: Eggs; Tadpoles; Tadpoles with legs; Adult or Frog. Write “Frogs” on the front for the title.  Have the child draw a picture to go with each stage.  Have the child write their names on their book.
  •  180256_1804569002572_1490303688_1924292_615909_n180136_1804559362331_1490303688_1924268_6525317_n
  • Frog Puppet  Watercolor a paper plate green and let dry. Fold plate in half and cut out four long legs and glue them in the middle of the plate. Cut a red tongue to place between the legs. For eyes cut two place half circles and two white circles these are glued on for the eyes on the front of the frog. You can make the frog rib-bit by pressing down on the folded plate.


Teaching Time – Clocks and O’clock

Teaching Time – Clocks and O’clock

Objective:  Teach children to understand O’clock times.


·      Make word cards for the words “Time”, “O’clock”, and “Clock”.

·      Have a teaching clock with movable hands.

·      Prepare to read the book, The Grouchy Ladybug, by Eric Carle.

·      Have cards with o’clock times on analog clocks and cards with o’clock times as they look on digital clocks.  Be prepared to play a matching game with cards.  (These can be made or bought commercially.)

·      Have a worksheet with o’clock times on analog clocks to do as a direction following activity.  Clocks worksheet


  •  Put up the word cards “Time”, “O’clock”, and “Clock” to label the clock in the room.  Talk about some of the sounds in the word.  (T, K, O, etc.)  Show clocks in the room and the teaching clock.  Show that when the hour hand or big hand is on the 12 and the other hand is on a number it is an o’clock time. 
  • Give out cards with a digital o’clock time to each child.  Then show an analog o’clock time and see which child has the match.  (The cards can also be used as a memory game.)
  • Read The Grouchy LadybugShow the time on the teaching clock as you read the book.  It is fun to let the children say what the Grouch Ladybug says.   


Give each child a clock worksheet and a set of crayons.  Have the children follow directions to color each o’clock time.  Then have them circle the time for each clock.  Have them color the bottom clocks to match the color of the clocks at the top of the worksheet, . 



animals book copyFish

Objective: Children will learn the characteristics of fish and how fish are different from other animals.

  • Find drawings or pictures of fish and other types of animals from books, magazines or old calendars.
  • Gather the following materials:
    • unsharpened pencils
    • string
    • paper clips
    • magnets
    • wading pool (optional)
  • Cut out or die cut fish shapes from card stock then write a characteristic (listed below) of fish on each fish cut out.
  • Attach a paper clip to the fish.
  • Tie one end of the string to an unsharpened pencil, and the other end to a magnet.
  • Print out the fish eyes mini book from link.  fish0001
  • Cut construction paper in half for the cover.
  • Cut each page in half collate with the front and back cover and staple the sides together.
  • Suggested books:
      • Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On by Lois Ehlert
      • Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni

To identify an animal as a fish, it should have these characteristics:

  • Fish live in water.
  • Fish have a backbone. They are vertebrates.
  • Fish breathe using gills. They absorb oxygen through the gills.
  • Almost all fish are cold-blooded. 
  • Fish have scales and fins.
  • Fish lay many eggs.


Play a fishing game with the children:

  • Place the fish in an empty wading pool, or create an imaginary pool using a rug, construction paper, or fabric.
  • Give each child to “catch” a fish with the fishing pole magnet as each child pulls out a fish, read its characteristic and discuss it with the children.

Make a fish eyes mini-book:

  • Read the Fish Eyes book.  
  • Have the children write, “Fish Book” and their name on the front cover.
  • Have children create fish on each page with the characteristic described.
  • A good way to teach children to draw fish is to have them draw an “x” then make a “c” on one side connected to the “x” making the head and a “l” on the other side to make the tail. Have them draw a dot for the eye and a smiling mouth. They can add a fin on top and on the sides if they feel confident enough.

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  •  3 cubes of butter (up to ½ can be applesauce)
  • 1/2 c. cocoa
  • 3 c. brown sugar (C&H or organic)
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 ½ c. unbleached or whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (I prefer pecans) (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 .  Cream together butter, cocoa and sugar.  Add eggs, flour, salt, vanilla, and nuts.  Mix only until blended.  (Don’t over mix.) Spread in a jelly roll pan that has been sprayed with non stick spray.  Bake 25 minutes. Don’t overcook.

Serve with whipped cream.  Whip 1 cup whipping cream.  Add 1 Tablespoon Instant Vanilla Pudding, 1/2 teas. vanilla, 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar.  Mix just until blended.

It is fun to garnish with fresh raspberries and mint leaves.



Objective: Children will learn the characteristics of birds and compare with other animals.

  • Find drawings or pictures of Birds and other types of animals from books, magazines or old calendars.
  • Make word cards for the words, Birds, Animals, Yes, and No.
  • Gather the following materials:
    • Pine cone
    • Paper plate
    • Butter knife
    • Smooth peanut butter
    • Birdseed
    • Ribbon or yarn
    • Scissors
  • Suggested books:
      • Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman.
      • The Hungry Hummingbird by April Pulley Sayre.
      • Birds by Carolyn MacLulich

Read a book then discuss the characteristics of birds while showing pictures.

Characteristics of birds:

    • All birds are warm blooded.
    • Have feathers.  (Only birds have feathers.)
    • Have wings.
    • Lay eggs.
    • Have 2 legs.
    • Have a beak.
    • Have no teeth.


Play the Yes and No game with pictures of different animals.  “Is this a bird?” Then place the animal on the yes or no pile.  This gives an opportunity to discuss characteristics of different animals.

Make a bird feeder:

  1. Cut a long length of yarn to hang the bird feeder.
  2. Put a piece of tape on the yarn with the child’s name on it.
  3. Tie the yarn in a knot around the pine cone near the top.
  4. Tie a knot in the end of the yarn so it can be hung up outside.
  5. Use the butter knife to get a large clump of peanut butter on the paper plate.
  6. Use the knife to spread peanut butter inside the pine cone and around the edges.
  7. Put birdseed on a plate.
  8. Roll the pine cone in the birdseed that is on the plate.
  9. Hang the bird feeder on a tree. 

Teaching Time and Clock Parts

           Teaching Time and Clock Parts

Objective: Help children learn the words relating to time and clock parts.


  • Make word cards for the words “time”, “hands”, “face”, “numbers” and “clock”.
  • Have a teaching clock with movable hands.
  • Prepare to read the book, Me Counting Time by Joan Sweeney.
  • Have a worksheet with analog clock parts to do as a direction following activity.  Clock parts worksheet


Read the book, Me Counting Time.  Discuss and compare to the children.

Put up the word cards.  Talk about some of the sounds in the word.  (T, K, short o, etc.)  Use the word cards to label a clock in the room.

Show the teaching clock.  Talk about the parts of the clock.  (face, hands, numbers)

Learning Activity:

Give each child an analog clock worksheet and crayons.  Read each part of the instructions and do the worksheet together.    Clock parts worksheet


Mammals    20141208_133905

Objective: Children will learn the characteristics of mammals and how they compare to other animals. 

    • Find drawings or pictures of mammals and other types of animals from books, internet, magazines or old calendars.

    • Make word cards for the words, Mammals, Animals, Yes, and No.

    • Have paper and crayons.

  • Suggested books:

      • Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
      • The Hat by Jan Brett
Read the book(s) then discuss while showing pictures.
Discuss the characteristics of mammals

    • All mammals are warm-blooded.

    • Most young are born alive.

    • They have hair or fur on their bodies.

    • Every mammal is a vertebrate. 

    • All mammals have lungs to breathe air.

    • Mammals feed milk to their babies.


Play the Yes and No game with pictures of different animals.  “Is this a mammal?” Then place the animal on the yes or no pile.  (This gives an opportunity to discuss characteristics of different animals.)

Have children draw their favorite mammal.  Write the name of the mammal on the picture.



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