SLO Info
Life Cycle of a Frog
Local Species
Online Assessments
Supplemental Exercises
Grading Rubric

Shared Learning Objectives Project Information - Option 2

District:  Capital Region BOCES
School/District Representative:  Steve Janover
SLO Project Name:  Web-based Inquiry - Frogs and Toads
Authored by:  Steve Janover
E-mail:  sjanover@gw.neric.org
Homepage address:  instruct.neric.org/frogs
Grade Level(s):  4-5
Subject Area(s):  Science, English Language Arts, Computer Literacy
Learning context:
Learning Standards Referenced: 

Correlation to the NY State Common Core Learning Standards

Reading Standards for Information Text K-5

5.RIT.7 -  Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

7. Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.


9. Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

Writing Standards K-5

5.W.6 - Production and Distribution of Writing

6. With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of two pages in a single sitting.

5.W.7 - Research to Build and Present Knowledge

7. Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.


8. Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources.

Speaking and Listening Standards K-5

5.SL.1 - Comprehension and Collaboration

1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

a. Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
b. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
c. Pose and respond to specific questions by making comments that contribute to the discussion and elaborate on the remarks of others.
d. Review the key ideas expressed and draw conclusions in light of information and knowledge gained from the discussions.
e. Seek to understand and communicate with individuals from different perspectives and cultural backgrounds.
f. Use their experience and their knowledge of language and logic, as well as culture, to think analytically, address problems creatively, and advocate persuasively.

5.SL.4 - Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

4. Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.


5. Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.

Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects 6–12

6-8.WHST.6 - Production and Distribution of Writing

6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas clearly and efficiently.

Correlation to the NY State Learning Standards (OLD)

English Language Arts - Standard 1 - Language for Information and Understanding (Elementary)  Students will read, write, listen and speak for information and understanding.

Speaking and Writing

2. Speaking and Writing to acquire and transmit information requires asking probing and clarifying questions, interpreting information in one's own words, applying information from one context to another, and presenting the information and interpretation clearly, concisely, and comprehensibly.

English Language Arts - Standard 3 - Language for Critical Analysis and Evaluation (Elementary)  Students will read, write, listen and speak for critical analysis and evaluation.

Listening and Reading

1. Listening and reading to analyze and evaluate experiences, ideas, information, and issues requires using evaluative criteria from a variety of perspectives and recognizing the difference in evaluations based on different sets of criteria.

Speaking and Writing

2. Speaking and writing for critical analysis and evaluation requires presenting opinions and judgments on experiences, ideas, information, and issues clearly, logically, and persuasively with reference to specific criteria on which the opinion or judgment is based.

MST - Standard 2 - Information Systems (Elementary)
Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.

Information Systems

1. Information technology is used to retrieve, process, and communicate information and as a tool to enhance learning.

MST - Standard 4 - Science (Elementary)
Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.

The Living Environment

3. Individual organisms and species change over time.
4. The continuity of life is sustained through reproduction and development.
5. Organisms maintain a dynamic equilibrium that sustains life.
6. Plants and animals depend on each other and their physical environment.

Performance Indicators:

(ELA Standard 1 )

* gather and interpret information from children's reference books, magazines, textbooks, electronic bulletin boards, audio and media presentations, oral interviews, and from such forms as charts, graphs, maps, and diagrams

* select information appropriate to the purpose of their investigation and relate ideas from one text to another

* make appropriate and effective use of strategies to construct meaning from print, such as prior knowledge about a subject, structural and context clues, and an understanding of letter-sound relationships to decode difficult words.

* present information clearly in a variety of oral and written forms such as summaries, paraphrases, brief reports, stories, posters, and charts

* select a focus, organization, and point of view for oral and written presentations

* observe basic writing conventions, such as correct spelling, punctuation, and capitalization, as well as sentence and paragraph structures appropriate to written forms

(ELA Standard 3)

* read and form opinions about a variety of literary and informational texts and presentations, as well as persuasive texts such as advertisements, commercials and letters to the editor

* express opinions (in such forms as oral and written reviews, letters to the editor, essays, or persuasive speeches) about events, books, issues, and experiences, supporting their opinions with some evidence.

* monitor and adjust their own oral and written presentations to meet criteria for competent performance (E.g., in writing, the criteria might include development of position, organization, appropriate vocabulary, mechanics, and neatness. In speaking, the criteria might include good content, effective delivery, diction, posture, poise, and eye contact.)

* use effective vocabulary and follow the rules of grammar, usage, spelling, and punctuation in persuasive writing

(MST Standard 2)

* use a variety of equipment and software packages to enter, process, display, and communicate information in different forms using text, tables, pictures, and sound.

* access needed information from printed media, electronic data bases, and community resources.

(MST Standard 4)

* describe how the structures of plants and animals complement the environment of the plant or animal.

* observe that differences within a species may give individuals an advantage in surviving and reproducing.

* describe the major stages in the life cycles of selected plants and animals.

* describe basic life functions of common living specimens.

* describe some survival behaviors of common living specimens.

* describe how plants and animals, including humans, depend upon each other and the nonliving environment.


1) Successful completion of Web-Inquiry based on Grading Rubric. 
2) Successful completion of in-class exam.
3) Completion of online assessments.

Student Outcomes (Exemplars):

1) Students will be familiar with taking online assessments and gathering research material from the Web. These skills can be applied to other topics and curriculum areas.
2) Pupils will use information gathered  to write an essay on any one of several topics from the Web-inquiry. 
3) Students will have general information about frogs and toads and will be able to identify several local species.
4) Students will understand metamorphosis and will learn the importance of the frog as a barometer of environmental health.


    Specific inquiry/activity:

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?

This inquiry is designed as an online supplement for elementary 4-5 students and teachers who wish to expand their knowledge about frogs and toads.  It provides a list of Web sites to explore, activities, assessments, documents,  and a list of resources.   

Assessment scores are not permanently recorded, but can be used as a rough guide for the student to determine prior knowledge and mastery of the subject matter.  

The inquiry is designed to last 12 hours in length. It can be delivered over the course of 12 class days for a duration of one hour per day.

Day 1 - The teacher introduces the topic and explains the procedures and parts of the inquiry.

Day 2 - The instructor reviews the topic and uses an LCD panel projector and Internet connected computer to walk the class through the areas of the inquiry.

Days 3-9 - Students perform the web-inquiry in a computer lab or library.  Besides taking notes on the various sites visited, the class also needs to do the online assessments.

Days 10, 11 - If possible, the teacher should schedule a field trip to a local frog pond, nature park, or museum that contains live and preserved frogs and toads.

Day 12 - Teacher administers an in-class exam based on the inquiry and initiates a post inquiry discussion. The exam will include objective, as well as essay questions. Student findings need to be summarized and reviewed. Participation in the post inquiry discussion will be graded as indicated in the rubric.  The teacher may discuss  how the skills and techniques utilized in this activity can be applied to other topics and subject areas. 

Instructional Modifications: large typeface display for visually impaired students may be used.  Inquiry activities during days 3-9 may be assigned as homework.

Time Required:
12 hours

Resources (materials):
    Web sites utilized: 

http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/1337/info.html                  http://cgee.hamline.edu/frogs/science/frogfact.html


This inquiry can be adapted to many different topics in science and also reworked for other curricular areas.