Growing a Frog in Your Classroom

A girl and her mother gather frog spawn from a pond, then watch as the jellylike eggs hatch and grow into tadpoles. Large easy-to-read illustrations combine with factual information for this tale of discovery that also includes environmental warnings and care-taking advice.

An effective way for students to explore animal growth and metamorphosis is with this lesson plan.

How to Start

Frogs undergo an extraordinary journey as they transition from egg to adult froghood. Frogspawn’s arrival signals spring’s approach and offers your classroom an ideal opportunity to examine all four stages of its lifecycle.

Frogspawn resembles a large clump of jelly and contains thousands of eggs with tiny frog embryos within. Each egg is encased by protective jelly that keeps predators at bay. Frogs lay their eggs in bodies of water such as garden ponds; wild species spend winter hiding out from predators under log piles before emerging early spring to breed and lay eggs once again in bodies like their original breeding spot pond. Male frogs croak to attract female frogs before mating in their original home pond before breeding occurs again the following year!

After several weeks, the tadpole begins to develop front legs while its tail gradually diminishes, feeding on algae and plants at this stage. When they develop their lungs and can breathe above water they begin eating larger insects but still return to the safety of their pond for shelter; taking advantage of sunlight by finding sunny spots when possible.

After several months, a tadpole will have gained all its front legs, while its back legs have begun to develop. Now known as a “froglet,” this juvenile frog will seek food by skimming the surface of water; feeding on dead insects or plant matter as food sources.

To keep a froglet healthy, it’s essential that clean water be provided. Rainwater or other safe freshwater should be used, with 30-50% being changed out each week if necessary; bad-smelling or cloudy water must also be eliminated regularly as frogs rely on it for breathing purposes. In order to maintain optimal temperatures in their tank environment, place a thermometer inside; add a hygrometer too so you can monitor humidity levels, spraying if humidity drops too low – ultimately this decision depends on both climate conditions as well as species being raised by raising.


Diet is of utmost importance for the well-being of frogs. Most varieties require a vegetarian diet rich in protein and calcium; you can purchase commercial food at pet stores and bait shops, though raising prey items at home for various species can provide more cost-effective feeding solutions for amphibians. Never feed table scraps, raw vegetables or cooked meat chunks directly as these could lead to severe malnutrition, intestinal blockages or food poisoning if fed directly.

Most frogs require both live and pelleted foods for a healthy diet. Pellet foods often provide more comprehensive nutrition than live foods, helping ensure that your frog receives all of the essential vitamins and minerals for its wellbeing.

Frogs depend on insects for sustenance, and many pet stores sell food items suitable for feeding to their amphibian companions. Crickets and mealworms are among the most frequently sold items at pet stores; to increase nutritional value before feeding to frogs.

Other insects commonly consumed by frogs include waxworms, earthworms, locusts and grasshoppers; large California red-legged frogs like Rana catesbeiana especially enjoy feeding on locusts and grasshoppers as a staple diet item. Furthermore, “pinkies,” newborn mice cultured at home may also be fed to larger frogs for feeding purposes.

Frogs can supplement their diets with other options as well, including algae. Frogs enjoy snacking on small algae such as spirulina and chrysocolaptes found at many fish stores; pet stores also carry various feeder insects like dubia roaches, black soldier flies, bloodworms which are easy to raise at home and higher in calcium than most other feeder insect species. It is wise to feed these items only occasionally to your frog; leave any uneaten items out of their tank when not being fed!


Frogs require plenty of water in order to thrive. Many species are adapted for life in marshy areas and aquatic vegetation as food sources, making raising them commercially on land unprofitable due to the cost of land, labor, feed, fencing and lighting; most farms don’t produce large numbers of bullfrogs for sale either – raising frogs in their natural environment is more enjoyable and educational!

Frog eggs require clean and fresh water for proper development and nutrition. Tap water may contain chemicals and bacteria that inhibit their development; you should instead use bottled spring water, rainwater or distilled water in aquariums or habitats instead. Tap water’s high mineral content may prevent their absorption while distilled water has lower mineral levels that won’t hinder absorption by your tadpoles; distilled water is great alternative.

As your tadpoles develop into juvenile tadpoles, make sure to switch the water frequently due to evaporation and for cleanliness purposes. Also keep sunlight out of their tank as direct sunlight can overheat it and kill your tadpoles; indirect lighting would be more suitable.

If you have a larger tank for tadpoles, treat it like an aquarium and install an aerator and water filter to provide oxygen and filter out impurities from the water. Make sure it has enough room so tadpoles can swim freely while regularly replacing 30- 50% of total volume of water in tank.

Once tadpoles develop lungs, it is best to allow them to climb out of the water to breathe – this process, known as metamorphosis, typically takes between 12-16 weeks.

Once the tadpoles have developed front legs and can swim, you should start feeding them more adult frog food, but be cautious as they remain vulnerable to predators. Provide them with a resting spot by placing rocks or wood pieces that stick out from their habitat with dry surfaces above water that allow them to take a break without constantly swimming around in circles. This will allow them to recharge without constant swimming activity.


Frogs do not need heat lamps or other artificial light sources; humidification is more important for their wellbeing. A hygrometer or humidity gauge should be used to monitor the level of moisture in their enclosure – 50 percent during the day and 80-100 percent at night should be ideal. An automated mister/fogger can be a great way to boost humidity levels on a schedule while adding a humidistat allows further control.

At the cleavage stage, or embryogenesis, frog eggs are divided into thousands of cells that will eventually form their skin, skeleton and pigment cells that will color its body, as well as giving rise to peripheral neurons. Once this stage has taken place, neural tubes begin to form their notochord, binding them directly to egg jelly; during further development this notochord will divide further and eventually give way to somites that become part of back muscles and spinal cord as somites eventually divide off from notochord somites forming spinal cord as somites eventually becoming back muscles and spinal cord; as an embryo develops its mouth anus develops while its gills also begin forming.

As soon as a tadpole is fully formed, it can start feeding off of its yolk and plant material around them. Over time, as they age and develop into adulthood, their size increases until eventually they shed their tails to take on life solely within water while taking in nutrients from its environment and the plant tissue used as protection.

Growing Frogs’ is an engaging story about a girl and her mother collecting frogspawn from their pond and transporting it, where it develops into tadpoles that grow into not quite frogs before returning them back into their original environment. It teaches children responsibility when handling wild animals while providing clear guidance for caring for a small container of frogspawn or bucket of tadpoles.

An ideal enclosure should include a thick layer of bioactive substrate on the bottom of your frog’s enclosure, to encourage exploration while providing natural enrichment for the animal. Some examples of bioactive substrate include top soil, coconut husks, damp peat moss and sphagnum moss; avoid gravel or rocks as these could be consumed by your amphibian.

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