Thursday, March 27, 2014

Frog Evolution Flipbooks

Frogs. Frogs. and more Frogs. This past couple of weeks we have been swimming in frogs! A couple weeks ago, I got a crazy idea to have a thematic unit.. not on ecology, cell biology, or genetics... but on frogs. We are learning about frogs as we cross off ecology and evolution standards. Today, we made a flipbook. We read an article about the fossils that were found that scientists believe are ancestors to frogs today. We then used the fossil descriptions from the article to imagine and draw picture of what the frog looked like. They had to put on their scientist hat to use scientific reasoning, as well as their artist hat to visualize a picture and draw it. You can see the full set of directions and article here. They also had to answer some critical thinking questions about their flipbook after creation.
Here are some pictures of some images that came to mind when students read the descriptions of the fossils.
They even have some scientific names!
Same species... Different Student Images
They had to guess at a time period that has no frog ancestor fossils. 

As a teacher, I really like how this lesson incorporated a literacy skill, such as imagination. This project gave students motivation to really understand and picture what the article was explaining. I could also assess students' comprehension of the article by their drawings of their flipbooks. I feel that it is difficult for science teachers to constantly incorporate authentic on-topic literacy in the science classroom on a consistent basis! What do you guys think? How do you incorporate literacy in your classrooms? I know that's a verrrrry broad question!

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