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Assignment 3 – Creating a Science Unit of Work

The life cycle of a frog.

Children will learn about the life cycles of living things, in particular the life cycle of a frog. Children will
take care of an amphibian while making observations as it transforms from a tadpole into a frog. The
students illustrate what the amphibian looks like at each stage of its life cycle and record the changes
observed. They will become aware of living things and the stages that animals progress through to

• Understand that all animals have a life cycle that includes being born, developing into an adult,
reproducing, and eventually dying.
• Understand that the details of life cycles vary from one organism to another.
• Observe the changes that occur during the growth and development of insects and frogs.
• Sequence the stages of life of selected animals.
• Teachers Domain (2002)

Why is it relevant?
The animal life cycle is important in Science as children learn and understand changes in nature. They will
develop an appreciation of the diversity of living things and further understand the interconnectedness
between them. By caring for and experiencing firsthand how the life cycle of an animal occurs they will
be able to demonstrate a respect for living things. As a team, the students will supply a living thing with
the necessities it requires for survival. Throughout the process this will help them understand and respect
the environment and the creatures living with in it.

Unit of Work

The 3 Lessons:

Over the three lessons the students will gain a better understanding of the life cycles of living things in
comparison to humans. They will also be able to describe the life stages of a frog using the correct
terminology. The topic is introduced using ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle. This lesson idea
was derived from Teachers Domain (2003). Using a video the students will observe the stages of
dragonflies and butterflies, but the main learning focus will be on frogs. The video that they will watch
will be Metamorphosis: Change of Plans (2003) QuickTime Video. The students will then establish an
aquarium with tadpoles to observe their development into maturity.

Lesson 1:
 Before the lesson make copies of the Life Stages Cards1 (Soft Schools 2005), enough for everyone
in the class, plus spares.
 Download video Metamorphosis: Change of Plans (2003) QuickTime Video from the Teachers
Domain (2003) website.
 Borrow the book ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle.
 Note questions you will be asking to prompt thinking.
 Ensure that there are enough colouring pencils for each table of students.

1. The first lesson will be assigned to establishing prior knowledge. To engage the students in the
topic we would begin by reading ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle. Once this has been
read to the students some questioning will take place to gauge students understanding of the topic
and ideas about life cycles.

2. Questioning:
Appendix 1 – Life Stages Cards
 Where the egg came from that the caterpillar emerged from.
 What stages did you see the caterpillar go through throughout the text? Did anything jump
out at you or surprise you?
 What do you think the female butterfly must do before she dies so that the cycle can start

3. Explain to the students that they are going to watch a video that shows the life cycles of a few
living things. Emphasis to them that the main focus will be the life cycle of the frog.

4. Play video Metamorphosis: Change of Plans (2003) QuickTime Video. Tell students to watch
closely as they will need to describe the changes that they see next lesson.

5. When the video has been watched hand out the Life Stages worksheet (Soft Schools 2005) and
explain that all they need to do now is colour them in as next lesson we will be learning which
order the stages go in to make a frogs life cycle. Ensure to collect up named worksheets at the
conclusion of the lesson.

There is not much formal assessment required at this point as it is gathering prior knowledge. It is
important to take note of the students’ responses to gauge their understanding of the topic. Assess if there
is anything that you need to address with the students in future lessons. This lesson is a vital time for the
teacher to find out what the students know and don’t know about the topic.
When collecting check that students have sufficiently coloured their Life Stages worksheets.

Lesson 2:
 Before the lesson hand out Life Stages Cards (Soft Schools 2005) to the students.
 Have the video: Metamorphosis: Change of Plans (2003) QuickTime Video ready to use.
 Ensure there is enough colouring pencils, coloured card and glue available for all the students.
 Make a list of questions you would like to address with the students, to assess their understanding.

1. Divide the students into groups of three or four and hand to them their previously coloured
worksheets to cut out the images.

2. Get the students to watch the video (Metamorphosis: Change of Plans (2003) QuickTime Video)
again, instructing them before it plays that they will need to place their coloured
eggs/tadpoles/frogs in the correct order. Make sure they have been organised into a circle. (You
may need to play the video again to allow the students enough time to arrange their life cycle)

3. In their groups they can compare with each other what their life cycles look like, and explain why
they have placed them into that particular order.

4. Once this has happened the students can glue their life cycles to a coloured piece of paper, drawing
arrows between each picture to demonstrate the life cycle.

5. The students will then watch the video one more time, this time ask them to keep note of the
following aspects of the frogs life cycle:
 How long do the changes take between stages?
 Where do the babies live? Where do the adults live?
 What do the babies eat? What do the adults eat?
 Teachers Domain 2003

6. Once the have watched the video get the children together as one group. One question at a time ask
the students what they think the answers may be. Illustrate on the board what the tadpoles eat and
where they live, and the same for the frog.

7. Explain that next lesson they will be making an aquarium so they can watch the stages of a tadpole
through to a frog, so that it is very important we know what they eat and where they live.

Students have arranged their life cycles into a circle, and understand that it is a reoccurring process.
Students have placed their life cycles in the correct order.
Listen to their explanations to other students to assess how well they understand the concepts.

Through group questioning assess that students understand that different stages of the life cycle means
different requirements of the frog.

Lesson 3:
 Access an aquarium, the school may already have one.
 Buy tadpoles, fish food, aquarium rocks, plants and water ager from a pet store.
 Before the lesson, ensure that there is enough water for the aquarium sitting in the room to allow
for the water to reach the appropriate room temperature. Sit the tadpoles, in their carry bag, in the water
so their water reaches the same temperature slowly.
 Add water ager to the water before the lesson.
 Research what is required to keep tadpoles and frogs in the classroom.
 Cope enough of the Observation Sheets for each student, plus a few more.
 A place for your tadpoles to live in the classroom.


1. Recap with the students what they remember about where tadpoles live and what they eat. Explain
that you have brought some tadpoles and an aquarium in for them to observe. It is important to
establish with the students what stage the tadpole is at. And what stage they would have been at
before they came into the classroom (eggs).
 What foods will we need to feed them?
 What sort of environment will be needed to house them?

2. In front of the class set up the tank for the tadpoles. Be sure to ask them if they think that it is right
for them. Ask them why they think it should be set up in that way. Involve the students by helping
bring water to the tank and helping choose where the plants go.

3. Once the tank is set up release your tadpoles into the water (allow enough time for them to adjust
to water temperature). Allow the students, one table at a time, to look at the tadpoles swimming

4. For the students not currently observing hand out the Observation Sheet2 for them to draw what the
tadpoles look like. Explain that this is the second stage, as the first stage would have been the eggs.
Do one yourself as an example of what you expect.

5. The remainder of the lesson would be spent with the children illustrating what the tadpoles look
like on their Observation Sheet.

Take note of the students’ attitudes towards the tadpoles and their environment. Do they treat them
carefully? What language are they using around the topic, are they being silly or approaching the idea with
some maturity.
When collected, look at the observation sheets to ensure that the students are on the right track as to what
is expected in the observation and recording process.
More assessment will be carried out through remaining lessons.

Follow on:
The students would continue to observe the frog’s development over time. Use the Observation Sheet
provided as a way of recording their illustrations. This allows them to see the developmental process of
the life cycles in action and what how the behaviours, needs and characteristics of the frog change over
this time.

Materials and Resources

Lesson 1:
 The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
 Life Stages worksheet
 Video: Metamorphosis: Change of Plans (2003) QuickTime Video
 Colouring Pencils

Appendix 2 – Observation Sheet
Lesson 2:
 Life Stages worksheet
 Video: Metamorphosis: Change of Plans (2003) QuickTime Video
 Scissors
 Coloured Card
 Glue Sticks
 White board and markers.

Lesson 3:
 Aquarium  Food (for tadpoles at this point, fish
 Tadpoles flakes will do)

 Water and water ager  Observation sheet

 Aquarium rocks & plants  Colouring pencils

Strand Life Systems
Band Early Years
Key Idea Children reflect on the way people age in order to examine stages of growth and
anticipate a ranger of preferred personal futures. They also explore the life cycles
of other living things. [F][Id][KC1][KC6] (SACSA 2001)
Outcome 1.6 Explores their own stages of growth and those of other living things. They
develop personal future timelines. [F][Id][C][KC6] (SACSA 2001)
Standard 1


Metamorphosis: Change of Plans 2003, video recording, Teachers' Domain, viewed 29 October 2008,

SACSA, 2001, Learning Areas, Department of Education and Training, viewed 15 August 2008 <>

SACSA, 2001, Key ideas and outcomes, Ideas for Practice, Department of Education and Training,
viewed 14 August 2008 <

Soft Schools 2005, Frog Life Cycle, viewed on 29 October 2008

Teachers Domain 2003, Life Cycles of Frogs, Dragonflies and Butterflies, WDBH Educational
Foundation, viewed 29 October 2008

Appendix 1 – Life Stages Card

Appendix 2 – observation table

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4

Stage 5