Friday, March 30, 2012

Joy School - Amphibians

More fun brought to you by the Ghost of Joy Schools Past...

Amphibians Day!


We learned lots of interesting things about amphibians. Here's a sampling:
-all amphibians start their lives in water and move to land as they grow up.
-have porous skin that let moisture in and out
-have sticky tongues to catch food
-the smallest amphibian is the size of a pinky fingernail and the largest is about 1.5m
-90% of amphibians are frogs or toads
-they can have all sorts of different pupil shapes in their eyes (triangles, squares, hearts, diamonds)
-worlds most poisonous frog is the Golden Dart Frog and a single one has enough poison to kill 1000 people
-some species of salamanders grow lungs or gills according to how much moisture is around them.

Craft Time: Making lily pads

We started by giving everyone a white paper plate, which they turned upside down and painted green.
While the paint was drying, they each got a paper frog that they coloured and added googly eyes to.
Then the frog (and a flower too if they wanted) got glued on for a finishing touch.

So proud of his finished lily pad!

Science Time: Porous Skin

Did you know that many amphibians don't drink water, but rather they absorb what they need through their skin? Strange, but true. To illustrate this, I took a couple of kitchen sponges and cut them up. I put one into a little Rubbermaid container, and left the others out.

I told the kids that the sponges were going to be like our thristy amphibians. I dropped them all into the bowl of water and we waited a minute while the water absorbed.

Then we saw how our amphibians with porous skin were able to get all the water they needed, but the one that was surrounded by skin that was waterproof was still dry and hard - it wouldn't be able to survive.

Snack Time: popcorn!

What does popcorn have to do with amphibians? Nothing. Why did we have it then? Because we were going to eat our snack like amphibians - with our sticky tongues! I remember being little and thinking it was so funny that popcorn would stick to my tongue, so that is what we did. Each child was given a little bowl of it, and then they had to eat it by getting one kernel at a time with their sticky amphibian tongue. It was so funny to watch!

Video Clip:

We watched a segment from an Eyewitness DVD that taught us the difference between a frog and a toad.

Game Time:

We played a computer game from a great kids website. In the game there is a frog who is jumping from lily-pad to lily-pad across a pond, and you have to guess how big of a jump he needs to make. The kids all got one turn and then we moved on, but they would have been happy to play it a few times.

Wiggle Time: leaping lily-pads!

After they had all had a turn on the computer, I set up 'lily-pads' (pillows) across our own 'pond' (living room) and the 'frogs' (kids) had to jump across from one side to the next. They loved this. I set the pillows up at different intervals so they would have to do a small, medium, or large jump, just like the computer game.

Music Time:

I made little froggy stick puppets that I handed out to each of the kids (sorry for the very blurry picture here!) and we sang Five Green Speckled Frogs, There's a Hole in the Middle of the Sea, and Mmm-mmmm Went the Little Green Frog One Day.

Story Time:

I was surprised how many of the books we had on hand related to frogs. We read The Frog Prince, A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog, and Curious George Tadpole Trouble.

Art Time:

I had printed off a frog life-cycle chart from the internet for the kids to colour. They did, but then a couple of them decided they wanted to make theirs into a puzzle, so I passed out scissors, and they cut their charts into pieces.

By then it was time for our little tadpoles to swim on home.

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