Recycled Art for a Frog Themed Unit Study

by evelynsaenz

Recycled children's artwork becomes classroom decorations for a frog themed unit study with frog pond bulletin boards and interactive frog related games, activities and projects.

Creating a Frog Themed Unit Study

A classroom full of frogs and frog themed learning activities

Frog Pond

Bare as a frog pond in early spring, the classroom fills in with plants, water, mud, insects. The frog habitat grows as the children create art projects and learn about the life cycle of our favorite amphibians.

Hour by hour and day by day the room fills with a frog pond theme environment that the children and I create together.

As we read about frogs and observe frogs down at the frog pond we notice more and more details and add them to all areas of the classroom until it is filled with frog themed art, science, music, social studies, games, projects and more.

Photo Credit: Frog Pond
on Grandma's Graphics, Public Domain

Setting the Frog Pond Theme

Turning a Classroom into a Frog Pond of Learning

Frog Pond Vegetation

One day I decided to turn my classroom into a frog pond. The walls were already bue. There were bulletin boards on three of the four walls with a chalkboard on the fourth wall.

During the first week of school the children had been experimenting with mixing yellow and blue to make green paint.

It was easy to teach them how to cut the paper into long strips for Cattails and round lily pads for frogs to sit on.

Cutting helps children develop find motor skills needed for writing stories. We do a lot of that too. The lily pads hide poems and stories that the children write about frogs after careful observation.

When a child finishes an assignment he or she is allowed to go up to the lily pad board, carefully lift the edges of the lily pads and read the poems and stories written by fellow students. On the chalk rail below the ponds I keep stamp pads with insect stamps. Whenever a child finishes reading a story or poem he or she is allowed to feed the frogs by stamping an insect on the board. 

It doesn't take long before the pond is alive with insects flying around ready to be turned into a frog meal.

We made the bulletin boards look like frog ponds and vernal pools.

Photo Credit: Frogs and Cattails
From Clipart Mountian Used by Permission

Singing with Frogs on Logs

Five Green and Speckled Frogs on Logs

One of our favorite activities at circle time is singing and acting out the words to the song Five Green and Speckled Frogs.

Five children are chosen to be frogs each day. The five frogs sit on a large cardboard tube, designed for creating concrete pillars.These tubes come in 4 foot lengths so the kids will need to sit very close together at the beginning.

To make the frog log more stable and to make it look more like a log, add papier mache made from grocery bags and covered in a couple of layers of polyurethane.

The children jump off the log one at a time into the frog pond rug with each verse until all of the frogs have jumped off the log.

Log for the Five Green and Speckled Frogs

Concrete Form Tube Frog's Log
Sonoco 12X4 Concrete Form Tube 5097282 Concrete Form Tubes
Gloss, Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane

Frogs, Frogs and More Frogs

More frog themed activities and games for the Frog Unit Study

Frog Unit Study: Hopping to Learn
Dozens of fun, hands-on, creative games and activities with a frog them for teaching children. Come swat the verb flies and hop into the frog pond of learning.

Fictional Frogs

Fun Frog Stories
The Adventures of Grandfather Frog (Dover Children's Thri...
Dover Publications
$3.00  $0.87

Frog Themed Story Hour

Reading about Frogs

Each day after recess the children gather on the rug for story hour. The story I chose for our frog unit study was Grandfather Frog by Thornton Burgess.

The children love the story for the tale it tells. I love the story because it introduces the children to the animals that live in the frog's neighborhood and draws them even more into the frog's habitat.

Grandfather Frog

A story about frogs by Thornton Burgess

The stories by Thornton Burgess, such as Grandfather Frog, are written with a simple sentence structure and vocabulary.

Most children are able to read these books on their own by the end of first grade. Don't let that stop you from reading it to them, however.

Children love to have stories read to them over and over. They will be delighted when they are finally able to read these frog stories themselves.

Observing and Creating a Nature Journal of Frogs

The Art and Science of Illustrating Frogs

With his amazingly simple and vivid illustrations and direct prose, Jim Arnosky's book All about Frogs is an ideal introduction to the science of frogs.

I read this book often to the children during our study of frogs.


All About Frogs

A Non-fiction book about Frogs by Jim Arnosky
All About Frogs (All About... (Scholastic))
Scholastic Inc.
Only $5.99

Watercolor Frogs for your Nature Journal

Painting frogs

We use Jim Arnosky's illustrations as inspiration for writing in our nature journals. We look carefully at the illustrations each day before heading down to the frog pond and then again when we return in order to improve our artistic techniques.

It takes time and patience to paint a frog with watercolors. Sometimes you must use very washed out colors such as the tall grasses behind this frog.

Sometimes you will be using dark green and waiting for it to dry in order to add the black spots or the white highlights.

Photo Credit: Frog
Available on Allposters


Hopping Around the Frog Pond

More Frog Themed Activities
Singing a song about frogs for a Morning Meeting activity is a fun, active way to focus the children on the Frog Theme, learn about syllables and create community.
Teach children to read with pet rock frogs...
Toss the frogs and watch them land. A frog theme is a delightful way to help your children learn basic math facts.
Soil and frogs poured into their hands! Imagine the excitement. From potting plants to frogs in a split second, our unit study theme changed in an instant!
Updated: 07/08/2014, evelynsaenz
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Comments for the Frogs

evelynsaenz on 10/06/2012

Thanks, Sheri :)

Sheri_Oz on 08/25/2012

I like the froglog idea. Cute.

Guest on 07/16/2011

I can imagine lots of biology lesson in a frog themed classroom.

ohcaroline on 07/11/2011

These are some wonderful lessons to share.

evelynsaenz on 07/11/2011

Thanks, Joan:)

petunia on 07/11/2011

Froggie fun and learning, too! Delightful!

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