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Amphibial Pursuits is the teachers’ guide to Frogwatch- a program through which students learn to identify frogs by sound and contribute valuable scientific information to a national amphibian monitoring program. This guide is a multi-disciplinary resource that explores the physiology and ecology of frogs and toads, examines the role of population biology in assessing threats to different species and illustrates how amphibians are used to measure the health of ecosystems.
The resource begins with an overview of frogs and toads followed by a detailed examination of three key topics related to their health and distribution:
Student activities include constructing graphs, using graphing tools, role playing, researching, background information, preliminary discussion questions and suggestions for debriefing accompany the activities within each topic.
The following skills are explicitly taught:
These lessons will be very useful for teachers looking to integrate science and math.
The introduction will be very useful to students and/or teachers wanting to learn more about frogs.
Protection of keystone species is vital to the sustainability of ecosystems.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Good|
These units do a great job of covering population dynamics and the role of science in understanding human impacts on ecosystems.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
Satisfactory- absence of bias towards any one point of view
Good- students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
Very good- based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and take an informed position
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
The ecological aspects are well covered. The social and economic viewpoints are touched upon. For example, the benefits of Bullfrogs to society are examined from different point of view.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
|Respects Complexity||Very Good|
The complexity of problems is well respected.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected
|Acting on Learning||Good|
Students have the opportunity to participate in the FrogWatch program.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
The activities that teach effective action are either extensions or part of the appendix. They are not part of the main activity.
|Action Skills: Explicitly teaches the skills needed for students to take effective action (e.g. letter-writing, consensus-building, etc.).|
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Poor/Not considered|
This is not part of the lesson plans.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Good|
This resource does a good job of encouraging appreciation for the value of frogs and toads.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
Participation in the FrogWatch survey provides for locally-focused learning.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Satisfactory|
The resource does represent the frog population in the present and in the future but the past has been largely avoided.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Some questions are raised have multiple/complex answers clearly represented.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
These lessons address science/biology and math outcomes.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use & opportunities to make their own decisions on how to find answers. The learning involves unique experience & provides definite opportunity for an 'ah-hah' event.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
Students are not explicitly given an opportunity to clarify their own values. There are some introductory questions and debriefing ideas that might allow some students to reflect on how they feel.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
Activities do address a range of learning styles/different intelligences. There are no accommodations made for people with learning difficulties.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
Although the experiences used in the lesson plans are engaging, they are restricted to simulations.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Students work in groups.
|Cooperative Learning: Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
There are no assessment tools provided for students or teachers.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
Peer teaching might only occur through incidental teaching in group work or during the role play.
|Peer Teaching: Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
Case studies are used to represent real situations based on artificial data.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Poor/Not considered|
Students do not choose program contents.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|