Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mr. Frog (went a courtin?): A Nature Study

When I was a little girl my momma used to sing this song.

Frog went a courtin' and he did ride, uh-huh
Frog went a courtin' and he did ride, uh-huh
Frog went a courtin' and he did ride
With a sword and a pistol by his side, uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh

Unfortunately, the whole song is just tragic and dark. Frogs trying to marry mice. It’s just all wrong. I don’t know what my momma was thinking.

It is still being sung at family gatherings to this day.

We like passing the darkness along.

I grew up way out in the country and because we were cool we had a pond right in the front yard. To this day one of my favorite sounds is the chorus of the little peeper frogs.  They start singing right after the snow has melted from the ground in the spring. Their song brings spring and flowers and the hope of fresh lettuce, radish and carrots from the garden.

You don’t need a pond to appreciate the Frog or a momma who is obsessed with the courtin’ rituals of Mr. Frog. The study of the frog is always a fun, spring ritual in our house. Year after year we listen for the sound of the peepers. It also means that it’s time to once again study our favorite amphibian.

 Over the years we’ve enjoyed working on a Frog Field Journal. I looked for it so I could share a picture of it with you. I can’t find it. ACK! Did I throw it away in my last mad frenzy of organization?

Ooops. Maybe it’s time to start a new one.

If you are up to working on a Frog Field Journal this year here are some links I’ve gathered for printables or ideas to use.

A Field Journal is simply a naturalists or ecologists notes and journal on what they see, hear and observe in nature.

Not sure where to start or what a field journal even looks like? Here is a terrific “how-to.” The Smithsonian also has an excellent lessons series about nature journaling. There is even a little history involved.

Our field journals are usually  smaller scrapbooks or sketch pads. They can be carried in a bag with colored pencils, and a PB&J.

You can also add little books and foldables to your field journals.

First take a look at these free lapbook or notebooking pages. I thought about putting a few together this year myself…then I came to my senses! There are so really well done resources. I’ll let these talented people do all my “heavy lifting.”

This was one of the very first Lapbooks we did as new homeschoolers. Josiah was just in 1st grade. I had ordered all kinds of materials and posters from my state’s  conservation department. We poured over those posters and flyers. He wasn't quite an "observer" back in the day. I found it easier to go look and observe what we could and then come back and learn with the lapbook projects.

Here is a free resource unit and notebooking pages if you would like to make a Unit study out of your frog learning.  She has done a good job.

This is a free Frog Life Cycle Journal.  I like them because they are very simple and give plenty of space for elaboration and observation.

This site has all kinds of fun links and printables. It is a treasure for all of us frog studying folks.

Here is a neat frog life cycle spinner to put in a notebook or lapbook.

I working with Josiah more on filling out his observation journals besides “I saw a cool frog.” Here is a series of questions to ask while doing frog observations.

Did you know that there is a Frog Watch USA?

I encourage some sketching in our field journals.  We usually have mixed results. I found this tutorial on drawing a frog. I like this one because it doesn’t resemble the cartoon frogs I usually come up with. This one is a bit more challenging.

Check this site out for inspiration. He has more scientific drawings of frogs hopping, catching flies, etc.  Any of these would be really neat to put into a field journal.

Happy Froggin!

Check out more nature study ideas from my friends at the Schoolhouse Review Crew by clicking on the banner below.

Nature Study for Your Homeschool

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