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Life Cycle of a Frog: Lesson Plan for Elementary Students

Frogs are fascinating creatures for young children. They make excellent specimens for the live study of life cycles or metamorphosis as the young are quite easy to raise to adulthood. How many young boys (and girls too) have revelled in the adventure of frogging at a nearby pond or water body. I am sure there are far less who have had this experience compared to the older generation. Your classroom habitat will give them a taste of that adventure! As well, many students will again encounter these creatures in the high school laboratory, as the subjects of virtual or "live" dissection! With careful preparation and stringent safety protocols including keeping students' fingers out of the frog habitat, the addition of live tadpoles growing to maturity brings additional joy and further opportunity to stretch the inquiry and research skills of young minds.

Life Cycle of a Frog Lesson Plan


Overview: Students will be introduced to the life cycle stages of a frog by setting up a frog habitat with tadpoles collected from a local pond and by completing daily observations of this habitat. A National Geographic video and reading comprehension exercises will further reinforce students’ knowledge.

Subjects: Science, Language

Grade Level: Grade 4/5

Suggested Time:

  • Monitoring of the Tadpole habitat will cover several weeks including one 40 minute science block to set up habitats and 5-10minutes daily for several weeks until all tadpoles are frogs.
  • Five 40 minute science blocks; two or three 40 minute language blocks


  • Aquarium or fish bowl
  • Tadpoles (preferably from a local pond so they can be released to original habitat safely)
  • Food source for tadpoles (goldfish food will suffice)
  • Worksheets


  1. Students will name in order, the stages of a frog’s life cycle.
  2. Students will describe a frog’s habitat, predators and prey.
  3. Students will set-up and maintain an aquarium for tadpoles.
  4. Students will raise frogs from tadpoles.
  5. Students will document daily observations of their tadpole including weekly photographs.

On-Line Resources:


Order of Activities:

  1. Brainstorm with the class what they know about frog lifecycles and questions that they would like answered about frog life cycles.
  2. Watch the National Geographic video about, “Red Eyed Tree Frog's Life Cycle”. They fill out a chart while the video is in progress. When the video is finished, video may be replayed and/or students may ask questions to make sure chart is complete. (1 and 2 completed in same period of time)
  3. Have students independently read the ‘Frogs and Toads” reading comprehension activity and fill in the accompanying chart.
  4. Using #3 from the On-line Resources above ,complete the Frog Lifecycle Diagram. Complete the ‘Frog Life cycle Crossword Puzzle’.
  5. In-class time for working on chosen culminating activity. (three blocks of time)
  6. Frog Lifecycle Test. Students who finish early work on Frog Life cycle Word search.
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Activities to be Evaluated:

  1. Completion of reading comprehension activity and Toad, Frog Comparison chart.
  2. Labelling of a frog life cycle chart.
  3. Completion of Weekly Tadpole Habitat Log.
  4. Frog Life cycle Test
  5. Culminating Activity: Students will create a booklet, brochure, model, power point, diorama or other approved process describing the life cycle of a frog using their Habitat Log and on-line resources.

Creating the Tadpole Habitat

Follow the instructions in the website, How to Raise Tadpoles, for creating a safe, exciting tadpole habitat which will allow your students to watch the metamorphosis of frogs unfold before their eyes. A few things to consider:

  • Make sure you post safety rules regarding etiquette around the habitat. Aquatic environments with living creatures pose the threat of salmonella. Hands should never be exposed to the water in the habitat. As well, living creatures can be harmed by oils, creams etc on hands and could lead to death of your tadpoles.
  • Use local tadpoles if possible from a nearby pond as extensive environmental damage can occur to an ecosystem if introduced species (a frog species in this case not native to your area) are released into an area.
  • Check with your local and state regulations regarding the capture of tadpoles and the release of adult frogs.

Your students will be eager to safeguard their charges and will, therefore, be likely to abide by the rules set out for them.

Chart for Recording Tadpole Habitat Observations

Yes/No answersgillstailback legsfront legs Weekly Picture































Brainstorming Chart for Activity 1 of Frog Life Cycles

What I know about Frog Life CyclesQuestions I have about Frog Life Cycles





















Watch the video, Red-Eyed Tree Frog's Life Cycle

Chart for filling-in Life Cycle Of Frog Details from National Geographic Video for Activity 2


Where Eggs are layed


Stage 1 of life cycle


Stage 2 of life cycle


Final stage of life cycle




Reading Comprehension Sheet Comparing Frogs and Toads for Activity 3


Frogs and toads both belong to the group of animals known as amphibians. Because they are amphibians, they both have thin skin that loses moisture easily. They are both cold-blooded. They have a similar life cycle and look similar. So, although they do have some similarities, they are different animals.

Both frogs and toads begin their life in water. Both animals lay their eggs in water. Frogs lay their eggs in clumps, however, while toads lay theirs in long strings usually on vegetation. Otherwise, they go through similar life cycle stages. Both animals spend their adult life on land. Frogs need to live close to water while toads can survive away from water as adults. Both frogs and toads use lungs and their skin for taking in oxygen and getting rid of carbon dioxide. Both of these animals breathe through lungs on land and breathe through their skin when under water.

There is an old saying that if you touch a toad you’ll get warts. This is a myth that came from the fact that toads have rough, dry, bumpy skin. Many people think frogs are ‘yucky’ because they have slimy, moist, slippery-smooth skin. Frogs have narrow bodies that are made for jumping. They also have longer hind legs which lets them take long, high jumps. If you have ever tried to catch frog, you have seen their jumping expertise. Toads with their chunky, fat bodies are not designed for jumping. It is so much easier to catch a toad because of their shorter, less powerful hind legs. Toads will run or take small hops. This makes them much easier to catch. Frogs have higher, rounder eyes that bulge. Their eyes are made for noticing movement of their food source of fast moving insects and also for noticing the many animals, like herons, that prey on them. Toads have lower football-shaped eyes. Because they do not have powerful hopping legs, they need to have another protection from predators. Their protection is in their skin which lets out a bitter taste and smell. The eyes and nostrils of its predators burn from this ‘poison’; therefore, they tend to leave toads alone.

Comparison Chart for Activity 3 Comparing Frogs and Toads

Using your reading comprehension selection, fill-out the following chart comparing frogs and toads.


Group to which they belong






Habitat as Adults



How they Move









Where eggs are Layed



How eggs are Layed



Protection from Predators



Have students using #3 from the On-line Resources, fill-in details about each stage of metamorphosis on the Frog Life Cycle diagram.

Test Your Knowledge of the Frog Life Cycle

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. How does a frog breathe on land?
    • lungs
    • skin
    • feet
  2. How does a toad's skin feel?
    • smooth
    • rough and bumpy
    • slimy bumps that give me warts!
  3. What do you call a frog that still has a tail?
    • tadpole
    • froglet
    • frog
  4. In what season do frog's lay eggs?
    • winter
    • summer
    • spring
  5. How does a frog breathe in water?
    • lungs
    • skin
    • feet
  6. How does a tadpole breathe in water?
    • gills
    • lungs
    • skin
  7. What sound does a frog make?
    • howl
    • incessant chattering
    • croak
  8. What do frogs love to eat?
    • hamburgers
    • frog's legs
    • flies
  9. What do you call the change in body form that happens to some animals?
    • synthesis
    • metamorphosis
    • fission
  10. Where does an amphibian spend its early life?
    • water
    • land
    • the moon
  11. What group of animals do frogs belong to?
    • Reptiles
    • Birds
    • Insects
    • Amphibian

Answer Key

  1. lungs
  2. rough and bumpy
  3. froglet
  4. spring
  5. skin
  6. gills
  7. croak
  8. flies
  9. metamorphosis
  10. water
  11. Amphibian

© 2012 Teresa Coppens


Mary Jane ballermo on November 25, 2019:

Amazing idea

yooba on October 15, 2014:

thanks bye

Teresa Coppens (author) from Ontario, Canada on March 10, 2013:

Thanks BKKaran. Glad you enjoyed it!

B K Karan on March 08, 2013:

Awesome idea. The quiz and the charts make it superb for homeschoolers and other teachers to make study more interesting and more joyfull for the students who think studing in a boring thing111

Teresa Coppens (author) from Ontario, Canada on November 28, 2012:

Thanks so much Frank. It is so cool to watch nature in action up close when you can. Glad you enjoyed it!

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on November 28, 2012:

This is a fantactic hub and I think to get the most out of it, I recommend that both both parent and child/student read it together. It would beneficial, fun, educational.. voted awesome!

Liz21 on April 05, 2012:

This is a great hub for kids.

Sara Duggan from California on April 04, 2012:

Awesome lesson plan. The quiz and the charts make it super cool for homeschoolers and other teachers.

Subhas from New Delhi, India on April 04, 2012:

This is absolutely great way of knowing your environment and its different habitat. Just get close and experience it. Very nice hub.

Teresa Coppens (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 04, 2012:

Thank-you all for the wonderful comments. I will attempt to respond to each one when it is not so late but I wanted to extend my appreciation of your visits. I was so surprised after work today to see my hub chosen as hub of the day! What a wonderful feeling! Thanks to all of you for your comments.

Cindy A Johnson from Sevierville, TN on April 04, 2012:

I just had to chuckle when I saw your wonderful article as hub of the day. While walking at work, one of our little ponds was almost overrun with tadpoles. I've never seen so many in one place. Thanks for the great plans. When I taught K, one of my favorite books to read to the young ones was "Olly's Pollywogs." I can't remember the author but it was a great lesson about frogs for the K set.

Barbara Vell from Florida on April 04, 2012:

A thorough lesson and just in time for spring and summer to come. The frogs are coming! Good job.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on April 04, 2012:

This will make some teachers a great lesson. They will love it, and the kids too. Great job, and Congrats!

Milli from USA on April 04, 2012:

Great material for elementary school kids. I have enjoyed it too. Congrats on Hub of the day!

David Warren from Nevada and Puerto Vallarta on April 04, 2012:

Congratulations on hub of the day! This is GREAT material! I have a sister who teaches 4th grade, I'm going to organize all the materials for her and follow up weekly, lol, until I know she tries this.

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 04, 2012:

Great resource! Congrats on getting Hub of the Day!

Alissa Roberts from Normandy, TN on April 04, 2012:

Had to come back for a visit and say CONGRATS on your hub of the day! Very well deserved!

Chris Montgomery from Irvine, CA on April 04, 2012:

Now that's quality! Thanks for this, I'm bookmarking it for summer activities. Voted up!

John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on April 04, 2012:

Great hub, especially for elementary school children. I enjoyed it! Congrats!

tarajeyaram from Wonderland on April 04, 2012:

Neat hub! Nice layout and explanation. This exercise is great for grades 4/5 students. Kids would love it. Thanks for the hub. Voting up and useful!

Sarah Johnson from Charleston, South Carolina on April 04, 2012:

Ribbit! I love this hub! Great for teachers, but also parents. I plan to use the lesson plan over summer break. Perfect for my 4th and 5th grade children, and they both LOVE frogs. Thank you for sharing such an interesting and in depth lesson plan for frogs. I love when the kids are able to really dig into a subject. That is when they learn the most!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on April 04, 2012:

This is a unique and useful hub. I caught and kept frogs and tadpoles as a child and was fascinated by their life process. Congratulations on Hub of the Day!

Donna Cosmato from USA on April 04, 2012:

I love this hub as it contains everything the educator needs to not only teach but also extend the lesson. I've posted it on my Christian Education blog and shared the link with my friends in "academia" and homeschooling. Very impressive; voted up as well.

quickbooker from Gurgaon, India on April 04, 2012:

This lesson is perfect and interactive! It is a wonderful lesson demonstration to understand the children to ease and funny modes :) I liked the part where you have beautifully explained the frog life cycle diagram.


Voted Up!

Nare Gevorgyan on April 04, 2012:

72% seems to be fine :)

Teresa Coppens (author) from Ontario, Canada on March 27, 2012:

Robin thanks so much for the visit! I'm so happy you enjoyed the hub. I hope you and your daughter get a chance to raise some tadpoles!

Teresa Coppens (author) from Ontario, Canada on March 27, 2012:

It will probably be an early summer posting of pictures. So glad you enjoyed my hub clevercat! I hope your friend enjoys the information.

Robin Edmondson from San Francisco on March 27, 2012:

This is a fantastic lesson; any teacher would be so excited to get all of the information that you provided. I loved these types of lessons when I was a student. Our oldest daughter takes an after-school science class and yesterday they made a habitat for different types of bugs. She loved it! I know she'd love this lesson, too!

Rachel Vega from Massachusetts on March 27, 2012:

Adorable and useful all I one. I'm passing this on to a friend who I hope will find it as interesting as I do! I can't wait to see the tadpole habitat pics.

Teresa Coppens (author) from Ontario, Canada on March 25, 2012:

Thanks Alissa. I hope he can print off some of the activities to use as is. I plan on starting a tadpole habitat myself as they should just be hatching about now. I will include pictures as an update to this hub.

Alissa Roberts from Normandy, TN on March 23, 2012:

This is a great lesson on frogs for elementary students! I will have to pass this hub on to my husband who teaches 4th grade. I am sure his kids would love it! Great job - voted up!

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