Tuesday, November 4, 2014

If You Build It, They Will Come:Advantages and purposes for frog metamorphosis projects

This is Alli from Alli's Snakes. For the next few weeks, we will be doing a special on frog metamorphosis projects. This is because I want to attempt to discourage traditional Grow-A-Frog kits and instead use the idea of placing ponds in your home or school to attempt to view amphibian reproduction in those ponds. This project will be titled "If you build it, they will come." We have not yet attempted the research, so the next few blog posts will be the preliminary work.

Advantages of Frog Metamorphosis Projects
Frog metamorphosis and life cycle projects are needed as it is essential to realize the stages a frog goes through. These projects are important so that students can compare and contrast the frog's life cycle to other life cycles, such as the butterfly's, or the human life cycle. Knowing about the stages of the frog's life can help the students to have more knowledge on how to protect ponds, frogs, and the world around them. The habitat of a pond has many forms of life living in it, such as frogs, plants, water snakes etc. and it is very important for students to know what these animals need to survive in their habitat. It is essential for children to be aware of the frog's habitat and what they can do to protect it. Learning about how to take care of and protect frogs, pond plants etc. is very important towards encouraging a positive, respectful attitude towards the environment and all forms of life. The frog metamorphosis project also can be very important towards learning in other areas of education, such as a book about a frog's life story and the important skill of being able to discuss and summarize books. Also, art can be incorporated into drawing frogs and creating posters surrounding the project. Becoming aware of a frog's life cycle, facts about a frog, and its habitat can help the students towards being more protective towards not only frogs, but other species they come across on this earth. Collecting data surrounding how long it takes the frogs to metamorphose and graphing the data is a very important mathematics skill that can be trained via the route of frog metamorphosis projects. The important skills of mean, median, and mode can also be learned via the data surrounding the frogs. Learning about the life cycle of a frog can raise awareness and knowledge of frogs and why we should protect them, an essential tool to teach our children in an urban world. Describing the process of metamorphosis, becoming aware of a frog's habitat and how to protect it, listing and explaining facts about frogs, and recording data surrounding frog development are all very important skills that can be taught using the educational, hands-on tool of a metamorphosis project. This project can teach responsibility and animal husbandry, as taking care of a frog in the classroom might prepare the students for a pet frog later on. (O'Brien, Merson, 2011.) Frog metamorphosis projects are becoming more useful for scientific reasons also. There are immense amounts of knowledge surrounding frogs that we haven't tapped into yet, while many types of frogs worldwide are disappearing right before our eyes. Some of what we can learn from a frog's life cycle is easier to obtain from a captive frog. Frog metamorphosis projects are also important from a conservation standpoint, as with droughts becoming more common, rescuing tadpoles from drying up ponds and puddles is important to ensure the continued survival of their species. The learning experience of frog development projects can also keep awareness of nature and can encourage animal-based careers, as many professional scientists, veterinarians, biology teachers and wildlife managers kept native animals when they were young. Their interests were growing as they did these projects, and such career choices that are necessary in our world are less likely to be chosen if there has not been a long term interest in wildlife and nature. (Frog Decline Reversal Project, 2001-2013.) Contact with nature is highly important to children, and educators need to obtain access to nature in their curricula. Nature-based curricula support children's development and learning in many domains, including academic, social, and health-related domains. Nature-based play in preschool classrooms integrate motivation and meaningful activity with attitude, process skills, and content, the three elements of science education. Studying nature via plants and animals can allow children to explore the cycle of life. Habitats for creatures such as snails, tadpoles, lizards, insects, and other small creatures allows children to have an appreciation and knowledge of these animals. (Butler, Hachey, November 2009)

O'Brien, Elizabeth, Merson, Hayley. "Life Cycle of a Frog" Fall 2011.
Frog Decline Reversal Project. "Raising Tadpoles in Containers and Ponds" http://www.frogsafe.au/ponds/raising_tadpoles.shtml , 2001-2013
Butler, Deanna, Hachey, Alyse. "Science Education through Gardening and Nature-Based play" Young Children, November 2009. 

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