Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Frog Hats

I taught in three first grades this week and last.  The teacher's told me I could do anything creative I wanted.  So....I tied onto their science plans teaching about natural resources and expanded it to ecosystems.  I discussed how important it was not to waste the natural resources and how balanced our systems were.  I told them a story about a stream in Panama that researchers were studying.  Four hundred frogs came down with a amphibian fungus and died.  The next year, all that species of frogs were gone, along with snakes and lizards.  The river was muddied because there were no tadpoles swirling it up.  I explained about the medicines we get from frogs.  We talked about underwater ecosystems, and how man was stepping on coral and ruining it.  The kids really got into this.  They voted that if you cut down a tree, you should get 30 days in jail and a fine.

ANYWAY...I had them join my frog club.  They had to understand metamorphisis, they got a frog ring, a pledge, and a hat.  

I had made this origami hat fold last year using my hubby's bumwad tracing paper.  It is the bishop fold.  The art room had large sheets of construction paper (at least 26" x 22").
Below are the folding directions.
Directions for party hats   but we only went through step 6.  At first the folding seemed intimidating to the first graders, but when a few children had caught on, they helped their friends.  I let them use clear tape to hold the hat during certain steps.

Once everyone had a hat made, I gave them each a plastic cup.  They traced the rim of the cup twice for the dark green eyes.  They traced the bottom of the cup for the white eyes.  Since frogs have FIVE different shapes for iris, including hearts, they got to choose which one to color on their frog.  Then they got to use black sharpies (a big deal for them) to draw the dots for nose and the smile.  Strips of red construction paper were curled around pencils for the tongues.  I had pre-drawn the leg patterns on a piece of folded green construction paper, so that they only had to cut once to get two pieces.
They got to glue the legs on any which way they chose.

Happy kids.

 They started the day by making a cone frog for their desk.  I found a pattern on the internet for another frog project, but decided to use it with a cone.  They colored their pieces after I read them a book about frogs and showed them how varied in colors the different species could be.  Above sits a happy little tree frog.  

These were printed out on 8.5" x 11" paper.
One little girl from last week told me that her mother had taken a "hundred pictures" of her in her hat.  I am sure she exaggerated just a little bit, but it warmed my heart.

Happy frog day to anyone using this idea.

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