Frogs And Toads Compare And Contrast Essay Topics

If you’ve thought about the frog versus toad question at all, you’ve probably assumed that these amphibians are two very different animals. After all, they have different kinds of skin—dry and pebbly for toads, and moist and smooth for frogs—and prefer different habitats: frogs like water, but toads prefer land. Frogs have slim bodies and long legs, and jump to get around; toads have short forelimbs and hop or walk. Frogs lay their eggs in clusters, and toads (generally) lay their eggs in long chains. Toads also have big glands behind their eyes, called paratoid glands, which produce poison.

So you might be surprised to find out that toads belong to the order Anura, and are actually a subset of frogs. “All toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads,” says Christopher Raxworthy, Associate Curator of Herpetology at the American Museum of Natural History. “In popular use, toad seems to be used to refer to any frog that has a dry warty skin and short legs.”

There is a group scientists call true toads, which belong to the family Bufonidae, which consists of 50 genera and nearly 600 species, native to all continents except Antarctica and Australia (the cane toad, currently marching its way across Australia, was brought there in the 1930s). “They are recognized as a natural group based on DNA and skeletal characters,” Raxworthy says. For example, true toads don’t have any teeth, and the skin on the head is typically ossified to the skull.

But even in that group, the distinction between toad and frog isn’t necessarily clear. “Many have a dry warty skin, but not all,” Raxworthy says. If you saw a member of the genus Atelopus, you’d probably assume it was a regular frog—but these colorful amphibians, which hail from Central and South America, are also true toads.

And any number of frogs get called toads, even though they actually aren’t, like those in the Bombinatoridae family. Nature: It’s complicated!

AnimalsBig Questions

Teaching frog and toad will feel simple with these 25 ideas and activities. You’ll find science and reading sources about frogs and toads, the life cycle of a frog, frog facts and a frog craft or two to round it all off.

These ideas to teach about frogs and toads will also give you some great free printables to compare fictional and real frogs and toads.

And of course, it wouldn’t be complete without a few ideas for including the most famous Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel. {wink}

About Frogs and Toads

source: fabianacarters.blogspot.com

1. Frog Craft Visor Hat – What an adorable way to create interest in frogs. Make a frog craft and every time you are reading about frogs and toads, have your students don their frog craft visor hats.

These are easy to make with construction paper, cotton balls and pipe cleaners. A great frog craft tutorial perfect for many grades!

source: walkingbytheway.com

2. Frog Observations – If you have real frogs and toads in your classroom, these frog observations are perfect for learning about frogs and toads.

Students can use these free science worksheets to record their findings, compare frog eggs to chicken eggs and draw the life cycle of a frog. {Free download}

source: firstgradeshenanigans.blogspot.com

3. Comparing Fiction and Non-Fiction Frog and Toad Books – If you have been exploring frogs and toads with your students or reading Frog and Toad books, then comparing and contrasting the features of these books into fiction and non-fiction categories is a perfect way to review.

Students can create a T chart, or use these books for reference as you do a frog and toad unit. These are free non-fiction and fiction poster header labels that will work perfect for this activity. {Free download}

source: luckyinlearning.blogspot.com

4. Frogs and Toads Compare and Contrast – If you are comparing or contrasting frogs, toads and their characteristics than this thinking map with bubbles might be the perfect way organize information.

If you create anchor charts, students can fill out this information more independently and see what information overlaps and what characteristics are just for frogs or toads. {Free download}

source: pattiesclassroom.blogspot.com

5. Frog (Amphibian) Poem – Teaching through songs and poems can be huge when helping students to recall frog and toad vocabulary.

Here is a cute poem that can be sung to the tune of “Jimmy Crack Corn” and perfect for teaching about the kinds of amphibians.


6. Frog Life Cycle Animation Video – This 5 minute video will illustrate how frogs grow from eggs to tadpoles, shrink tail size before jumping to land.

This video is great because it actually walks you through the life cycle in under a minute and then replays the cycle to emphasize the “cycle.”

It’s almost as if you had a time lapse document camera in your classroom right down in a tub of water watching a tadpole grow before your eyes.


7. Life Cycle of Frogs Video – This 3 minute video has beautiful imagery of frog behavior in addition to the life cycle. It shows an animated version of the life cycle of a frog including the names of each stage.

It’s really well done and I think the combination of photos and animation is just right for many grade levels.

source: thehelpfulgarden.blogspot.com.au

8. Life Cycle of a Frog Vocabulary Cards and Poster – Here is a great set of cards that include labels (nomenclature cards) for the life cycle of a frog. You’ll find cards for spawn, tadpole, froglet and adult frog.

There is also a matching life cycle of a frog poster using the same beautiful photographs.

This resource can aid your investigations (great for science journals) or become its own activity for younger grades. {Free download}

source: abcand123learning.com

9. Frog Life Cycle Sequencing Cards – This set of black and white drawings (sequencing cards) are perfect for use in creating your own life cycle of a frog posters, displays or for use in a science notebook.

These will also be great in helping doing guided drawings to enhance the observations students do of a frog’s growth.

source: homeschoolhelperonline.com

9. Life Cycle of a Frog Foldable Resources – Click on the ‘lapbook templates pdf file’ for resources to create 10 different activities.

Each of these activities will create a foldable that are ideal for science journals and focus on vocabulary, a frog’s anatomy, habitat, diet, classification, predators, defenses, species and comparing frogs and toads. {Free download}

10. Toad Facts – If you or your students need to go in search of facts about toads, these ‘toadally’ awesome toad facts will be a helpful resource.

It seems that the majority of information pertains to a Cane Toad, but there is lots of tidbits about toad facts that will be helpful since finding frog facts are easier.

11. Life Cycle of a Frog Photos – Do you just need a great set of photos for display in your classroom to compliment your teaching about the life cycle of a frog?

These photographs of the frog’s life cycle are beautiful and a great illustration of the metamorphosis process.

12. Life Cycle of a Frog Printables – Here is a great collection of both photographs and printables to illustrate the life cycle of a frog. You’ll find a circular template that includes eggs, tadpole, frog.

You’ll also have access to an itsy bitsy frog book to print and fold that talks about what frogs do. {Free download}

source: therealteachersoforangecounty.blogspot.com

13 and 14. Frog and Toad Comparison (and Journals) – If you like to read Frog and Toad books with your class (the series) then you’ll love these two activities!

Compare the two characters, Frog and Toad using a bubble thinking map and then have your students write from the perspectives of both characters in little journals. {Free downloads}

15. Frog and Toad Free Substitute Plans – These sub plans are perfect for second grade. Lay out plans for your substitute teacher that includes a reading of one of 3 Frog and Toad stories.

Get students reading, writing, doing math and doing science – these also include additional activities and printable activities. {Free download}

source: justanotherdayin2ndgrade.blogspot.com

16. Frog and Toad Character Chart – When comparing and contrasting the characters of Frog and Toad creating a class chart is a great activity!

Students will be able to connect to just one book, or across a few books. This tutorial also includes some fun ideas on how to incorporate frog and toad into your morning message.

source: arlenesandberg.blogspot.com

17. Comparing Fictional Frogs and Toads to Real Frogs and Toads – This activity is the perfect connection between the fictional characters of Frog and Toad shared above to what your students have learned about real frogs and toads.

This is a key activity to any primary grade level since comparing and contrasting two books is a Common Core standard. {Free download}

source: carriesspeechcorner.blogspot.com

18. Frog Life Cycle Booklets – You’ll love that you can have a full page, full color version of this frog life cycle booklet to use with your whole class.

What you may love even more is that you can also get a smaller black and white printable version for your students. This makes for a great vocabulary reader, take home book or guided reading book. {Free download}

source: exploringnature.org

19. Frog Life Cycle Flip Book – Explore the metamorphosis process of a frog’s life or compare life cycles using this flip book.

Students will be fascinated with the flip book concept (it works like a comic strip) and it will make for a great addition into a science journal or notebook. You can always use the left blank page to label the page on the right to, to incorporate writing. {Free download}

20. Frog Life Cycle Craft – You can create a cute frog craft that starts with the frog egg and then unfold as an accordion book.

The back of the book is a cute frog silhouette making for a simple life cycle book craft. This tutorial also includes a frog printable. {Free download}

21. Frog Cinquain Poem Organizer – I think this finished product is a beautiful example of tying science into other subject areas.

You’ll find a great cinquain poem organizer to use with your class to get the writing frog poetry and a guided drawing tutorial so that all students can create a beautiful piece of work to display with their poetry. {Free download}

source: mrstsfirstgradeclass-jill.blogspot.com

22. Frog Informational Writing – Give your students the tools they need to write an informational piece about frogs using this tip. Use green, yellow and red  construction paper strips to plan out the beginning, middle and ending sentences before transferring them to a final product like pictured above.

This strategy is perfect for frog informational writing and creating a class frog book.

source: msrameysmonkeyshines.blogspot.com

23. 3D Frog Craft – Grab this pattern for a craftivity to get your students writing about frogs. Create these creative 3D frogs that look as if they’re going to leap from a lily pad and pair them with student writing pieces.

This can be for lots of different grade levels if you simply alter the writing piece.

source: firstgradealacarte.blogspot.com

24. 3 Frog and Toad Comprehension Games – If you’re on the hunt to find more fun ways of learning about Frog and Toad (the classic book characters) then you’ll want to be sure to check out these Frog and Toad printable games with comprehension multiple choice cards.

You’ll have students answering questions about Days With Frog and Toad, Frog and Toad All Year and Frog and Toad Are Friends. {Free printables}

25. Frog and Toad Paper Plate Craft – After comparing the character traits of Frog and Toad, students can create a frog or toad from a paper plate and construction paper.

It’s a great way to get students connected to a character and extend their learning. {Free download}

Frog and Toad Books

Here are some affiliate Frog and Toad books I recommend to go along with the literature side of things.

Frog and Toad Non-Fiction Books

Here are some affiliate non-fiction books I recommend that are non-fiction books about amphibians.

Thanks to these teachers for their free downloads and creative lesson ideas.  Your activities are fantastic! Feel free to grab the “I’m a Featured Teach Junkie” blog button as your ideas are definitely worth the shout out.

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