Frogs! A Chorus of Colors 3rd – 5th Grade Pre-Activities Frogs! A Chorus of Colors is sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. They have excellent resources for the exhibit. http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/frogs/ The following activities will help prepare your students for their visit to see Frogs! A Chorus of Colors. Students will see 3 types of displays at the Frogs! exhibit: live frog enclosures, interactive displays and live demonstrations. Encourage the students to be sympathetic to the needs of the frogs and other visitors to the Museum. Use their inside voices, walk, and do not use a camera flash as these activities will startle the frogs. Do not touch the glass. Students must stay with their chaperones. Encourage the students to participate in all of the interactive displays as there is much they will learn from them and they are fun! Give a copy of the “During” activities to the chaperones and tell them to use them to guide their students through the exhibit. While observing the exhibit, encourage the students to use comparative terms such as, “as big as a baby,” “looks like a leaf,” “sounds like a horn.” Habitat A habitat is where an animal lives. The habitat must supply the needs of organisms, such as food, water, temperature, oxygen, and minerals. Many plants and animals share the same habitat at the same time. Discuss human habitats and the functions they serve. List the needs humans have that the habitats provide. (shelter, food, water, etc.) Show a picture of a frog in a natural habitat. http://www.wldelft.nl/issues/wfd/habitat/index.html Discuss the needs of frogs and how they are alike and different from human needs. Discuss how a habitat can meet the needs of frogs. Pictures like the one below at the following Web sites may help: http://museum.gov.ns.ca/mnh/nature/frogs/mink.htm http://www.canalphotos.net/bullfrog_and%20txt.htm World Map At the Museum, students will see frogs from around the world. Show the students a map of the world such as the one below which has the equator labeled. The map below enlarges well for printing. Most frogs live in the rainforest around the equator. Discuss the climate around the equator. Discuss different types of weather and how they effect the way we live. How would these differences in weather effect the way that frogs live? What could a frog do to get away from the heat or cold? A great Web site for ecosystems and habitats: http://www.fi.edu/tfi/units/life/habitat/habitat.html Sound Before coming to see the Frogs! exhibit, think of the purpose of humans producing sound. Make a class list, then discuss which of these purposes are the same for frogs. How do we identify other people? Have all the students close their eyes. Choose one student to go out of eye sight and yell something. Ask the class to identify who the student is. How did they know? Discuss that this is how frogs identify other frogs of their species. A frog can hear another frog in their species a mile away. Discuss how far that is by identifying a landmark in the neighborhood which is about a mile away. Ask the students to imagine if they could hear that far away. What problems would that create for humans? What advantages? Discuss how frogs are the same and different from humans. Encourage them to listen to different frog sounds at the Museum. Life Cycle A life cycle is the order of the stages in an animal’s growth. Different living organisms have different life cycles. Frogs have a unique life cycle that will help the students observe the concept of a life cycle. Discuss the human life cycle. Have the students bring pictures from home of babies, parents, grandparents, etc to illustrate the cycle in our lives. The following Web site has pictures to illustrate both the human and frog life cycle: http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/thezone/animals/life/produce.htm The following Web site has a good frog life cycle activity: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/amphibians/label/froglifecycle/label.shtml Another site below has lessons for the human, frog and plant life cycles: http://www.cesa8.k12.wi.us/teares/math/it/webquests/LifeCycle/index.htm Frog observations Discuss that at the Museum they will be observing and comparing the frogs. Show the students a picture or a model of an animal. Discuss and create a class list of all the characteristics they can think of that they can compare such as body, tail, legs, feet, etc. Ask the students to identify the following: Frog characteristics which help the frogs hide: color, size, shape, designs Frog characteristics which help ward off their enemies: bright colors, warts large eyes Frog characteristics which help them escape from their enemies: shapes of legs fingers and toes – toe pads, long legs, webbing between their toes, claw like feet, pointed noses. Discuss the purposes of these characteristics such as for swimming, climbing or digging. Frogs have few characteristics which help them to fight: large mouths and teeth, claws. Frog characteristics which help them find food: vision, hearing, length of legs, length of tongue. Being a frog Help the students to experience what being a frog is like by asking them to imagine the following characteristics: What if your eyes were on top of your head facing out, not up? What are the advantages of this? What if your skin was permeable and liquids could go through it? What would be the advantages and disadvantages? What if your mouth were 3 times as wide as it is? What if you could not pick up food with your hands, but had to use your tongue? Challenge the students to create other comparisons. Have the students jump like a frog. Which did they use the most, their arms or their legs? Measure how far the students jumped. How many times more than the length of their bodies can they jump? A frog can jump 10 times more than the length of their bodies! Measure that and show the student how far that would be for them. Discuss the math concepts involved. Before coming to see the Frogs exhibit, discuss what the students think is involved in creating such an exhibit. Create a class list of properties of a frog display., then have students observe during their trip to compare their ideas to the exhibit. The exhibit, Frogs! A Chorus of Colors, is a beautiful display of live frogs and other animals. When asked how the frogs are kept safe and healthy, Ed Castillo, the exhibit curator, answered the following: “A lot goes into maintaining their systems. There is a lot of science behind keeping these guys healthy and happy! The habitats are designed in such a way to create the perfect environment for the frogs. There is a circulating pool of heated water underneath each enclosure that maintains the perfect temperature and humidity for each frog species. The water is filtered mechanically, biologically and chemically in special filters underneath the enclosures. In addition, all of the mosses and plants are misted and watered which helps boost humidity. The plants are treated with an antifungal solution to not introduce any harmful fungus that can hurt the frogs. They have 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark to simulate light cycles in the tropics. They are fed daily with crickets and fruit flies which are fed with a high calcium cricket diet so that they are extra nutritious. The crickets are also dusted with a multi vitamin powder prior to feeding to give them an extra boost of nutrition. The water is changed on a regular basis to prevent the build up of any harmful waste products. The water is filtered through sediment and carbon filtration prior to being introduced into the systems.” Animal Adaptations Structural adaptations are special body parts of an organism that help it to survive in its natural habitat (e.g., skin color, shape, body covering). Behavioral adaptations are special ways a particular organism behaves to survive in its natural habitat. Physiological adaptations are systems present in an organism that allow it to perform certain biochemical reactions (e.g., making venom, secreting slime, being able to keep a constant body temperature). Human Adaptations To help the students to identify with animal adaptations, apply it to their everyday lives with the following activity. Procedures: 1. Bring in various accessories and articles of clothing that people wear in hot or cold weather. Materials: o sunglasses o hat o boots o winter coat o umbrella o art supplies o old magazines 2. Discuss climate with the class. Ask: o What kind of climate do we live in? 3. Introduce the class to words having to do with climate, such as temperate, arid, and tropical. 4. Point out that people are animals too, and like other animals, we adapt to our surroundings. Ask students what they know about people who live in very hot or very cold climates. Ask: o What do they wear? o What do they do to stay cool or warm? 5. Have students brainstorm a list of the ways they adapt to their climate. To help them get started, show students the items that you brought in. Organize student ideas by writing a number of categories on the board. Examples: o clothing o accessories o home design If necessary, sort ideas by season. 6. Invite each student to choose an example of human adaptation from the list. 7. Students illustrate their adaptation. They may draw their own pictures or cut and paste from old magazines. Be sure that each adaptation is labeled. Make a classroom mural. Create a large banner from butcher paper. Title it "Ways We Adapt" or "Human Adaptations." Students attach their illustrated adaptations to the banner.