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Tadpoles and Frogs


Chichaqua’s waters include surprisingly large bullfrog tadpoles, as well as several species of full-grown frogs.

Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt - Maxwell, IA

Possible Guiding, Compelling and/or Anchoring Questions

  • What are the strange creatures? Do they have anything to do with the frogs?
  • Why do younger frogs look so different from adult frogs?
  • Do all organisms look different in different parts of their lives?

Classroom Suggestions

Students could:

  • Visit a park or other area where tadpoles can be found, or see some that are brought into the classroom by the county naturalist.
  • Draw or act out a model of the life cycle of the bullfrog.
  • Show photos of bullfrog development from a page like this: American Bullfrog Metamorphosis: Tadpole to Frog.
  • Split up into different groups to describe the life cycles of humans, familiar animals, and plants. 
  • Compare and contrast the life cycle of a bullfrog with those of other organisms.
  • Find patterns in data about how long different organisms live, the age at which they reproduce, etc.
  • Discuss and make predictions about what would happen if different parts of the bullfrog’s life cycle were negatively affected. (For example, if a chemical in the water killed tadpoles, or made it impossible for adult frogs to lay eggs.)
  • Read and discuss Oscar and the Frog or a similar book.

Related Resources

Iowa Core Alignment

Life Science
Disciplinary Core Idea
LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

Credit Info

Media produced by Iowa PBS.

Submitted by Dan Voss and Madison Beeler as part of their Iowa STEM Teacher Externship experience at Iowa PBS.


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