Reviewed by Eloise Farmer
Teachers may first view these 20 lessons on amphibians for grades K–4 as "too much frog." But examining the lessons more closely, it's easy to see why these instructional tools will engage young learners and arouse their enthusiasm for studying interesting creatures. The organization and patterns used in this book could be used as a template for learning and engaging students in many similar topics.
The first section provides basic information for the instructor, identifying each lesson by name, grade level, subject area, and correlations to the national science education content standards, grades K–4. Two sections describe how to care for amphibians in the classroom and in the field and explain the handling instructions that provide for the safety of both the amphibian and handler.
A two-page section is provided for preschoolers to help prepare them for later K–4 lessons on amphibians. Lessons are organized with objectives, method, materials, background information, procedure, "Reflect and Explain," extensions, and resources. Activities involve reading, writing, drawing, and fieldwork. Process skills are often used in the lessons using Venn diagrams, t-sheets, identity cards, and pictures. Games and puzzles are used to further engage children in learning. For example, children watch live amphibian metamorphosis and observe and describe amphibian behaviors.
The book closes with a resource list of books, media guides, web resources, and information on creating amphibian habitats. There is a glossary, an index, and information on how this curriculum is aligned with the North American Association for Environmental Education guidelines.
Review posted on 4/7/2011