Lesson 4 Observing the Frogs more Closely
Materials • Copy of record sheet 4-A: Observing the frog • Copy of record sheet 4-B: Drawing the frog • Hand lens • One frog placed in a clear cup with a lid per pair of students
Overview • Discuss which characteristics are important to study when comparing animals. • Discuss the purpose of scientific drawings and the elements that should be included in a drawing of the frog. • Observe, describe, and record the characteristics of the frog. • Discuss ways to answer your questions about the frogs.
Background • When studying the ways an animal is suited to life in a particular habitat, biologists look at the animal’s body structure and behavior. • Biologists often then compare these characteristics with those of other animals. • This comparison helps them recognize how and why a type of animal survives best in a particular habitat.
You will use both words and drawings to record your observations of the frog’s characteristics. • This is also the method scientists use to share research discoveries in print. • Text and illustrations together present a more complete picture than either by itself. • In general, illustrations are easier to remember than text. • Scientists drawings, powerful tools of communication, are used to clarify, simplify, summarize, and emphasize information. • Common subjects of scientific illustrations are anatomy, techniques, and procedures.
Meeting with your Pod • Time limit • Share observations, discoveries, questions, and comparisons with groups • Use research, background knowledge, and observations to answer questions that come up • Whisper • Write down observations, discoveries, questions, and comparisons discuss with group
Think about your observations of the frogs. • Think about the frogs features and behavior that help the frog get what it needs from its habitat. • What characteristics of the frogs should we focus on?
What do you think a scientific drawing is? • Where have you seen scientific drawings of animals? • Why do you think scientific drawings of animals are made? • How do you think scientific drawings are used? • In what ways do you think a drawing of the frog will help you compare the frog with other animals? • What should be included in a scientific drawing of the frog?
Put a frog in an observing cup to allow each pair to observe the frog’s body more closely. • Draw a picture of the frog in its habitat. • When finish, gently pour the frog and water back into the habitat, trying not to disturb the plants. • Discuss observations with group and any new questions you may have. • What would you like to know about our frogs? • In what ways does having a drawing help you better understand the written descriptions of the frog’s characteristics? • Would a drawing alone give you enough information? • Share what wrote in notebook.
Extensions • Write a letter to a herpetologist to find out more information about Dwarf African Frogs. • Research frogs related to the Dwarf African Frog and create a display comparing them. • Research frogs that are not totally aquatic. How are Dwarf African Frogs similar and different to other frogs? • Make origami frogs. • Explore the reasons frogs call. Listen to recordings of frog songs.