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             Web-based Inquiry - Frogs and Toads

Introduction

Frogs and toads live all around us. They are classified as amphibians: animals that spend part of their life in water and part on land. They dwell in wet areas because they don't possess a shell or scales to prevent their skin from drying out (dehydration). During the winter they burrow in the mud to keep their skin moist and remain warm. 

Frogs undergo metamorphosis, a major change in body appearance and structure as they grow. A frog starts life as an egg, grows into a tadpole, changes into a froglet, and then finally grows to be an adult frog. 

Toads are actually frogs. They are members of the Bufonidae family. Toads differ from frogs in that they usually prefer dryer climates and have warts. They also walk instead of hop. 

Amphibians tell us there are changes to our environment. An area with a lot of frogs or toads probably indicates that the environment is healthy and complete. A location that has a declining frog population or if for some reason the population is suddenly missing, may signal a changing environment. Changes in frog populations can signal air and water pollution problems. 

The objectives of this inquiry are to answer several fundamental questions and explore the following areas:

  • What are some characteristics of frogs and toads?

  • Where do they live? (habitat)

  • What are the similarities and differences between frogs and toads?

  • Identify several local species of frogs and toads.

  • What is the life cycle of a frog?

  • What is the role of the frog in the environment?

Procedure

During the next seven class periods, visit the websites listed below and find answers to the questions listed above. When you are finished gathering your information, go to the Online Assessments area and do the three exercises.  In two weeks there will be a post inquiry discussion in class and an exam. Your participation in the discussion and results on the exam will be evaluated based on a rubric.  

http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/1337/info.html                  http://cgee.hamline.edu/frogs/science/frogfact.html
http://allaboutfrogs.org/froglnd.shtml     
http://www.ecc.ttu.edu/edit5318/DUnfred/FrogStudent.htm
 
http://www.ecc.ttu.edu/edit5318/DUnfred/FrogTeacher.htm 
http://www.norcrossws.org/html/frogsandtoads.htm
     
http://www.fi.edu/fellows/fellow9/jun99/

http://library.thinkquest.org/J0110059/index.html
http://mbgnet.mobot.org/sets/temp/index.htm