Teaching Tadpoles

By Holly Giles | Field Trips

Hands-on learning works best here on the Frontier, so anytime I can match a lesson
 with the outdoors it’s going to be a hit. Some friends from our co-op had been asking us to do a class on tadpoles.  Some of the kids had never watched them grow before and were anxious to give it a try.  Grayson takes it as a personal challenge to share the wonder of the outdoors and nature with other children.
On a hot and sticky day we invited our friends to Katie’s Landing State Park . We brought nets, buckets, books, and spare tadpoles just in case they couldn’t catch any.
Twelve kids all wandered the shore and had a blast! The oohs and ahhhs were wonderful to hear.  The buckets were being filled with brine shrimp, minnows, crawfish, and tadpoles.  They were having such a good time, I did not do a lesson with them.
 Sometimes you have to know when to just let them be.
To do this activity at home, you don’t need a river close by.  After a rain, you can find tadpoles just about anywhere, even a bird bath.  You can keep them in a jar, or plastic pet keeper.  They will eat fish food while they are in your care.  They grow pretty quickly and before they are fully developed into frogs, they will be wanting to jump out.
I suggest keeping the tadpoles through the stages of growing legs and then set them free.
The library should have books on the lifecycle you can read, the internet has lots of printables for worksheet activities, like Enchanted Learning and then storybooks add to the fun.  We also had a plastic frog set with the organs you put together, which is great for older kids to learn.
The books we used were: From Tadpole to Frog, byWendy Pfeffer, All about Frogs by Jim Arnosky and Amazing Frogs & Toads by Eyewitness
No matter where you live, get out there and get some tadpoles and watch the wonder!
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