The Life Cycle of a Frog

NoteIt is now necessary to get permission from your local Garda Station before collecting frogspawn, as they are now a protected species under the Irish Wildlife Act.

Begin with a class discussion on tadpoles.

Show the children a picture of frogspawn, tadpoles and frogs.
These pictures will enable the children to clarify the concept of these amphibians.

Explain that today we are studying amphibians which comes from two Greek words meaning "double life" – living in water and then living on land.

Inform the children that the mother frog lays her eggs usually in water. The jelly they are laid in acts as a protection and also provides them with food. The eggs look like small black dots called frogspawn. The female frog does not stay with the frogspawn. After about ten days each egg hatches into a tadpole.

Tadpoles live in water. Its long tail helps them to swim. It has feathery gills on the side of its head to breathe with while in water. At about eight weeks, hind legs appear and a short time later their front legs appear. The tail disappears slowly over a two/three month period. It now becomes a frog. It develops lungs to enable it to breathe on land.

(The children should have observed that eggs developed into tadpoles, that the tadpoles developed legs, their tails became shorter and disappeared, and that the tadpoles became frogs.)

Frogs live in damp grass and the undergrowth. It has smooth, moist skin. It is a cold-blooded animal, which means that their body temperature falls and rises like that of the environment where it is found. They have bulging eyes and can hop up to 60cm with its long back legs. It eats insects, worms, moths, spiders, and beetles. The frog has a tongue with a sticky top to help them catch food. They only eat things that move.

They can live up to fifteen years, but they have many enemies and rarely live to that age. Among their enemies are the hedgehog, owl, rat and blackbird.

It hibernates during the winter at the bottom of a pond or ditch. Its breathing slows down while it sleeps. Once spring arrives, the frog wakes up and creeps out of his resting place.

Introduce the term camouflage to the children. Explain that frogs are usually green but it has the ability to change colour to blend in with its surroundings. Elicit why it would be helpful to blend in with its surroundings.

Wordsearch on Frogs
(Print out this page).
It can be more difficult if the words are hidden and the pupils are asked to locate twelve words connected to frogs.