We have been lucky enough to be able to borrow a small amount of frogspawn from a friend’s local pond so that the girls can observe it closely as it changes and develops. [Don't worry, it's going back soon!] We have set up a small corner of the dining room as a playful learning and investigation area where they can make observations of all the developments that they can see, while also finding out more information and playing with a small world nature scene.
This is what we have included in the tadpole and frog investigation area:
a tank with rain water and pond water, [tap water contains dangerous chemicals for tadpoles so shouldn't be used], pond weed and a small log poking half way out of the water [for future froglets to sit on]
some informations books about the growth of frogs and the life cycle
pencils and paper
a life cycle drawing
To make the small world I cut out a piece of a cardboard box and covered it in green felt. On top of that I added a blue felt circle to make a pond, and fringed pale green to make grass. Then some little details such as the fish and flowers, with real pebbles and a piece of wood to represent a tree branch. I coloured black dots onto bubble wrap using a Sharpie, to make some frogspawn, and added small toy frogs to the scene.
The girls have been so excited to come and check on the tadpoles every morning, and have been diligently feeding them with slices of cucumber which they love.
Miss 5 drew her own frog life-cycle and has left it in the area so that her little sisters can see it and “to show visitors what will happen to the tadpoles” someday soon!
They are also drawing pictures of the tadpoles as they develop and we will turn it into a tadpole to frog diary at the end of our study. Older children could take notes and also copy or write their own snippets of information about the life-cycle in a DIY information book.
As soon as the tadpoles show signs of becoming froglets, we will be releasing them back to the pond they came from, which is important so that they can know where to come back to when they lay their own spawn in a year or so.
Have you set up any nature learning areas in your classroom or home school? What did you investigate?
What they are learning:
knowledge & understanding/ science: life-cylces, habitats, change, growth, metamorphosis, observational skills