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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.
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.
These units do a great job of covering population dynamics and the role of science in understanding human impacts on ecosystems.
|Bias Minimization: Presents as many different points of view as necessary to fairly address the issue(s).|
|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: |
The resource effectively addresses multiple dimensions of problems and solutions. These should include 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 problems is respected. A systems-thinking approach is encouraged.|
Students have the opportunity to participate in the FrogWatch program.
|Action Experience: Provides opportunities for authentic action experiences in which students can work to make positive change in their communities.
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: Actively encourages a personal affinity with non-humans and with Earth. For example, this may involve practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors.|
Participation in the FrogWatch survey provides for locally-focused learning.
|Locally-Focused: Encourages learning that is locally-focused/made concrete in some way and is relevant to the lives of the learners.|
|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.
|Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Learning||Good|
These lessons address science/biology and math outcomes.
|Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Learning: Multidisciplinary= addresses a number of different subjects Interdisciplinary= integrated approach that blurs subject lines Good: The resource provides opportunities for learning in a number of traditional 'subject' areas (eg. Language Arts, Science, Math, Art, etc.). Very Good: The resource takes an integrated approach to teaching that blurs the lines between subject boundaries.|
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.
|Discovery Learning: |
Learning activities are constructed so that students discover and build knowledge for themselves and develop largely on their own an understanding of concepts, principles and relationships. They often do this by wrestling with questions, and/or solving problems by exploring their environment, and/or physically manipulating objects and/or performing experiments.
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 Clarification: 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 learning styles/different intelligences. They teach to both cognitive and affective domains. Accommodations are suggested for people with learning difficulties.|
Although the experiences used in the lesson plans are engaging, they are restricted to simulations.
|Experiential Learning: Direct, authentic experiences are used.
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 used. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events in real situations that can be used to examine 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.|