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Getting to the Core

We study various life-cycles during the year.  I like to end school with the life-cycle of a frog because my students will be "leaping" into a new grade.  They came to me as a small Y5 egg, hatched into a wiggly little tadpole; swam their way through all sorts of units; grew, and grew and hopped through September into June!  Now it's time to leap forward into summer and splash around in the sunshine.

I hope you'll enjoy making some of these quick and easy projects to help your little polliwogs quickly grasp some science facts in a fun way!


frog life cycle crown, frog life cycle art projects, life cycle of a frog projects, frog life cycle writing and reading projectsFrog Life-Cycle Crowns:

A fun art extension for your students to make is a life-cycle crown.  My Y5's LOVE wearing crowns.  If you don't want to make this into a crown, simply skip the step of adding on a headband and you're done.  You can display them on a wall as is, or put the frogs on a lily pad. 

The life-cycle circle is the belly of the frog and makes a nice science review.  If you opt for the crowns, don them, line up your little ones and hop around in parade-like formation to help get the wiggles out. To view/print the frog life-cycle crown, click on the link. 

An easy way to make a crown is simply use 1 and a 1/2 pre-made sentence strips.  Bulletin board borders are also inexpensive, durable and make for a bright headband as well.  You can match them to whatever theme you want, or simply green, green striped or polka dots looks really smashing too!

Remember to staple strips so that the prickly parts of a staple are on the outside so that they don't scratch a forehead or get a girl's long hang caught.


frog life cycle slider, life cycle of a frog art, life cycle of a frog project, frog sciece project, Frog Life-Cycle Sliders:

Another quick and easy art activity is a "slider". To make a frog life-cycle slider click on the link. Have students add large wiggle eyes and left over valentine heart stickers to add some extra pizzazz.

life cycle of a frog booklet

Frog Booklets:

I've also made an easy reader so that students can practice their reading and writing skills entitled The Life Cycle Of A Frog.

Don't forget to check out the FREEBIE of the month, Where Have All the Flies Gone? It's an easy-reader subtraction booklet that has those adult life-cycle frogs gobbling up the flies. It includes an art extension where students can make a frog with a long tongue they curl on a crayon and then stick the flies on.  Click on the link to view/print one.

Where Is Froggy is a darling spatial direction booklet. 


Other Frog Stuff:

If you'd like more frog activities, click on the links to check out my 78-page Frog Unit ($2.95) as well as some cute art activities in the 98-page May Art Mini-Book ($1.99). Here you can see pictures of some of my other frog life-cycle art projects dangling from the ceiling in the hallway!  Click on the link and then on the camera button. 

I like to recycle things and we used our milk cartons from the lunch room as an under-base for our frog life-cycles. It's one of my favorites as the frog is sitting on a lily pad.  Simply have students twist the end of a white coffee filter to make the perfect water flower. Insert it into a small hole that's made with a hole punch in the side of their lily pad.  This will add a nice 3-dimensional effect to any bulletin board.

Why not become a gold subscription member and be able to down load these kinds of activities at no additional charge for an entire year.


Frog Books:

Two of my favorite frog books to read are Icky Sticky Frog complete with a sticky rubber tongue you can pull and snap while you read the story, (The art project that goes with my "Where Have All The Flies Gone?" is a wonderful math-art-reading extension to do after readomg this book! I also like The Wide Mouth Frog, by Keith Faulkner, which is an adorable pop-up book. 


They are definitely "must have's" for your frog collection of books, as my Y5's will attest.  They repeatedly beg: "Read it again pllllllease!"  For a larger list of my favorites check out my side BLOG Books of the Month, and then click on the May Bibliography link.  

Be sure to check out the Five Little Speckled Frog activities article after this one!

  I hope you have a "toad-ally" awesome time doing your frog-spring things!

5 little speckled frogs on a log activities1-2-3 Come Study Frogs With Me!

All of the activities mentioned in this article can be viewed/printed in the 39-page Five Speckled Frog Packet at the end.  I hope you enjoy it!

You've probably used the sing-along story Five Speckled Frogs to help young students learn to count and older students learn to recognize words and subtract.  I designed some new things that you can do with this old time favorite.

Run off my masters and use them as large flashcards to tell the story.  Students can count the frogs and fill in the empty space as you go.  Laminate the sheets so that you can have a child use a dry erase marker and write in the numbers.  Pass out small chalkboards/dry erase boards and have students practice writing the numbers as well, then hold the boards up to see if they have written the correct number(s).

Students can read the story as you repeat the verses.  You can also make copies of these, so students can trace and fill in their own individual booklets. 

While you are reading, choose 5 students to be frogs.  Laminate the number 1-5 cards and pin them to each child.  Run off five frog cards and number them 1-5.  Make a log by rolling up a long sheet of bulletin board paper and laying it in front of the frog children.  As you read the story have a frog child jump off the log into the pond.  This could be another sheet of bulletin board paper, only blue, or a blue oval carpet.  The first frog to jump off the log should be the number five frog. 

five speckled frogs mask, frog art projects

 Frog Masks:

You could also make 5 frog masks and have the five students wear the masks for this activity as well.  This makes a wonderful art extension so that every child has the opportunity to wear a mask and hop around as a frog.  Practice the math report card standard of counting by 5's to 100 and hop around that many times! If you're learning to count backwards from 10 to 0, don the masks, crouch down and "blast off" the log.

frog paper plate project, frog art projects, five speckled frogs projects

 Frog Puppet

The paper plate frog puppet is a nice art extension. Everyone can make one or just make one for yourself to use as a manipulative to tell this story + other frog related adventures.  Simply cut a large paper plate in half and staple it to the top of the back of a large folded paper plate.  You manipulate the frog's mouth by inserting your four fingers in the top "pocket" that was made by the two-stapled plates as your thumb rests on the bottom half.

 Frog Skill Sheets:

I've provided skill sheets for tracing, then writing number words and numbers as the appropriate group/sets of frogs are shown, as well as addition/subtraction and counting sheets. How many words rhyme with log?  Trace and then write them.  Ff is for frog and flies is another skill sheet.  I've also included an opportunity to connect the dots on a speckled frog by 1's and 5's of course!

five speckled frogs on a log activitiesfive speckled frogs activitiesFrog Game:

Finally, students can roll the dice and play a Five Speckled Frog game with a partner, choosing two different ways to play the game.

 Frog Packet:

Click on the link to view/print the 5 Little Speckled Frogs Activities Packet

 Miscellaneous Frog Stuff:

I have two easy-reader frog booklets available so click on the links for more fun counting with 5 frogs.  5 Little Frogs On A Log and 5 Little Frogs a cut and glue activity.

There's a Five Speckled Frogs YouTube video that's a nice culmination to the day's activities.  Click on the link to view it.

Enchanted Learning offers an online 5 Little Speckled Frogs coloring page.  I like these kinds of activities for my Y5’s,  because it’s easy for them to do as an independent computer center and get some much-needed practice with their computer skills.  Students can click on a color on the left and apply it to the five speckled frogs coloring page on the right. Click on the link to check it out.

life cycle of a frog, frog activities, frog lessons, frog mask, frog puppet, 5 speckled frogs, frog crafts, life cycle of a frog, ccss frogs, free common core lessons for kindrgarten and first, I wish you a "Hoppy" and exciting spring, filled with lots of fun frog activities!

Thanks for visiting today.  Feel fre to PIN anything you think others will find helpful.

"Creativity is thinking up new things.  Innovation is doing new things." -Theodore Levitt

mother's day card, mother's day activities, mother's day crafts, sign language activities, sign language crafts, teaching sign language to children.Teaching sign language is a wonderful fine motor skill.  My Y5's picked it up quickly and loved learning how to say new things. 

I also taught them a few songs, and although I didn't have them learn all of the letters of the alphabet, most of them enjoyed learning how to spell their names at the beginning of the year. 

For Mother's Day I thought it would be fun to design a card around this lovely language and to teach children how to spell MOM in sign language.  

  1. To sign "I love you.":
 -Have your students make a fist and put their pinkie finger up to make the letter "I".
 -Have them cross their arms over their chest to "say" the sign for "love".
 -Have them simply point to their mom's for the word "you"
 -For the card, I did the finger spelling for the letter "U".

There are many great sign language sites.  I have two favorites:  Favorite #one,   Favorite #two.  ( Click on the links to check them out.)

It's wonderful to be able to see someone demonstrate the sign, and the alphabetical listing makes things easy and quick to find words.

mother's day card, mother's day activities, mother's day crafts, sign language activities, sign language crafts, teaching sign language to children.I hope you enjoy making this card and teaching your students how to say "I love you Mom!" Check out the sites if you want to have them say "Happy Mother's Day!"

I have received tons of positive feedback from parents about this aspect of their child's learning.  I know it will be a hit for you too!

Click on the link to view/download the Mother's Day Sign Language Card Templates

Scroll down for article #4 today.  A quick and easy art center:  Make a Mother's Day Bookmark!

Mother's Day Gift Ideas:

Mother's Day Blue Ribbon, Mother's Day gift, Mother's Day booklet, Mother's Day ideas, mother's day activities, mother's day card, mother's day crafts, mother's day gift, mother's day badge, mother's day blue ribbon, mother's day writing activity, mother's day center activity, If you're like me, you're probably wondering where on earth April flew off to, and thinking what should I do for Mother's Day that will soon be here!

I thought a child being able to make a booklet for her and then read it to their mom would make a nice keepsake, perhaps this could be "the gift!"

I wanted to help children realize all the things busy mommies do for them, so that they could truly understand and appreciate their mom and why Mother’s Day is such a special Day; so I designed an easy reader with that idea in mind and followed it up with a blue ribbon-"craftivity" that students can make for their moms as a special card.

Start by having a discussion. Ask your students what things their moms do for them and what are their favorites.  Make a list of them on the board and see if they can think of a symbol or picture that would represent that task.

From a 5-year-old's point of view, here are some of the things my Y5's thought of: cooking, cleaning, doing the laundry (washing & ironing), helping with school work, taking me places, taking care of me when I’m sick or hurt, buying me things, doing things with me (listening to me), reading stories to me and my mom loves me (hugs me and kisses me goodnight!)

After the discussion, pass out the booklets.  

Students TRACE the words.  They find the matching pictures and CUT and GLUE them to the correct numbered boxes in their booklet. 

When everyone is done, read the booklet as a whole group a few times, ‘til everyone is able to read it independently, so they can take it home and share it with their moms.  What a wonderful gift that will be!

You can make the booklet even more of a keepsake by including their school photo; have students glue it over the clipart boy or girl. 

Mother's Day Blue Ribbon, Mother's Day gift, Mother's Day booklet, Mother's Day ideas, mother's day activities, mother's day card, mother's day crafts, mother's day gift, mother's day badge, mother's day blue ribbon, mother's day writing activity, mother's day center activity, When you’re done with the reading activity have students make the blue ribbon card for their mom. Remember to have them sign their name under the “I love you."

Click on the link to view/download the Mother’s Day: Thanks For All You Do booklet and blue ribbon activity.

Scroll down for another Mother's Day idea: Teaching your students how to sign "I love you!"

April showers not only bring May flowers, they bring MUD and WORMS! Two of my favorite childhood aspects of spring!  I enjoyed making mud pies so much as a little kid I thought it would be fun to make up some activities for my Y5’s to reinforce report card standards using mud as well as worms as fun mini-themes.  I’ve also posted a few other rainy day activities!

Go ahead; dive into the past and pretend you’re a child once more.  Get out those pots and pans, grab some wooden spoons, wait for a warm spring drizzle and then go splash in some muddy puddles as you take your pot and pan parade down the block.  It’s one of my favorite memories that I used to do with my own children.

worm activities, worm science, april science activities, april writing activities, april art activitiesWiggly Fun!

Going for a worm hunt is also fun, then have a worm race!  Whose worm will wiggle the farthest?  How many inches did they wander?  Bring them home and toss the worms in your garden.  Click on the links to check out these websites to learn more about the great earthmovers!  Interesting worm articles and background.    Short list of worm facts.   Top 10 facts about worms.

worm flip for facts science activity, worm art project, worm writing projectNow write your 3 favorite facts on the worm flip sheet. Click on the link to view/print the Worms: Flip for facts! Activity sheets. There are 2 sheets. Print the numbered sheet for a cover then fold in half and cut the numbered “doors” so they flip “up”. Print the “picture page” on the BACK of the number page.

Write 3 facts about worms under the pictures and you have a quick mini-science lesson about worms that includes reading, writing and computer skills!  (Great adventure with a Smart board.) I know your students will enjoy learning about these interesting creatures that can actually live even if they are cut in half and have no lungs but breath with their skin!

Worm Writing:

Stir those imaginations and ask your students what they like to do in the mud, then practice those writing skills and have them each make a page for a class Mud Book.  Make the book a keepsake by having students glue their school photo over the man's face in the picture.  I’ve included a cute mud poem if you’re also studying poetry at this time.  Click on the link to view/print the mud writing extension.

Worm Math:

Toss in some math and have your students make a Making Mud Pies counting booklet.  Using their fingerprints makes it a nice keepsake.  Students TRACE the number words and numbers and then WRITE the number somewhere on the page. After they have done that, they press their index finger on a brown stamp pad and press it on top of the pie pan to make a mud pie.

mud pie, april art, april writing, april reading, april rain projectsWhen everyone had completed their booklet, read it aloud as a whole group to reinforce concepts of print.  It’s a great way to reinforce number word recognition and is an easy reader that builds students’ self-confidence.

More mud pie fun that reinforces color words is a booklet entitled: My Many Colored Gumdrops. It has a teacher manipulative as well as 2 graphing extensions.

pig in the mud, spring art project, April art projectMudlicious Art:

Just in time for Mother’s Day, for a fun art project that makes another great keepsake, make some “Mudlicious” art prints by pressing a child’s hand in brown paint and putting it on either the boy or girl stationery provided.

I’ve also included a pig.  You can print this off and have each child cut it out and glue it on a piece of light green or powder blue paper.  Have them draw a pen for their pig and then using a sponge, have them add mud to their picture, dabbing some in the pen and on their pig.  I use an Ellison die cut for this and have them dab paint inside the template as well.  See photograph.  Click on the link to view/print the Mudlicious art projects.

Shape Fun:

If you’d like to review shapes, Shapely Pig is a fun way to do that and includes all of the major shapes in one quick and easy art activity that makes a great center. I've also included a skill sheet of words that rhyme with pig. Have your students brainstorm their own list and write them on the board and then put them in alphabetical order. Students can trace then write them on this skill sheet. Click on the link to view/print Shapely Pig and rhyming skill sheet

This art project is a nice go-together with the booklet: The Shape of My Mud which is a fun easy-reader booklet that includes a graphing extension and word wall flashcards.  Another April-themed booklet that reinforces shapes is The Shape On My Cloud.

It’s Raining the Alphabet:

To make mud you have to have rain.  I still remember my grama Lydia bringing my raincoat and umbrella to school when unexpected showers happened in the late afternoon.  I also had those wonderful little red rain boots to splash away many an hour puddle jumping.  Once I was late for school jumping in every one I happened upon along the way!  Make copies of this cute “dressed-for-rain” child, laminate him, cut out cards and have your students match the lowercase umbrellas to the matching uppercase letters. I've also included a set for shapes and a blank set if you'd like to do something with numbers.  Click on the link to view/print the umbrella cards.

Rainy Writing:

Make a class booklet by having your students each write and illustrate their favorite rainy activity and then graph the results.  Click on the link to view/print the class rain booklet.

april art, april science activities, april writing activities, worms, rain, cloudsRaindrop Art:

Complete your rainy day fun by making some “April showers bring May flowers” raindrops.  They look lovely dangling from the ceiling suspended with fish line.  Simply make a template out of tag board or a file folder using my master.  Have a room helper trace and cut out 2 clear contact paper raindrops for each student.  I buy it by the roll from the grocery store.  You can find it in the housewares’ section with shelf paper.

Have the helper peel back just the tip of the raindrops so that it will be easy for you to peel off the rest of the backing quickly on the day you will make the raindrops.  Write each child’s name in tiny print on the bottom edge of one of the drops.  The other drop is the back of the raindrop.  On the day you want to do the raindrops, start with this project.

Peel back the contact backing and lay the raindrop sticky side up.  I bend and fold the top pointy part of the raindrop and press it down onto the table so that it sticks to the desk/table where each child will sit.  I inform them that their raindrop is sticky and not to move it, but simply place their flower confetti on top of their raindrop and then raise their hand when they are done.  I come over and place the other raindrop on top of this raindrop so that two sticky sides are together.  Older students can do this on their own but my Y5’s need assistance getting the two drops to match up or they don't have their entire drop covered before they press it down.

Punch a hole in the top and tie on a piece of fish line.  Packages of floral confetti can be purchased at any party store.  I buy several different kinds and spill them on 8” paper plates that I have in the middle of the tables.

My students can put on as many flowers as they want, as long as they put on only ONE at a time and count as they place them on their raindrop.  They have to put on at least 10.  I also let them sprinkle on a little opalescent or silver glitter so that the raindrops sparkle and show up a little better when they shimmer from the hallway ceiling.  Click on the link to view/print the raindrop template and photograph.

Rainy Day Activities:

For more fun rain activities click on the bolded links. Rain Rain Go Away Come Again Another Day, is an easy reader booklet that reinforces days of the week words, Where’s My Umbrella is a spatial direction booklet, Where Have All The Raindrops Gone and 10 Little Raindrops are booklets that reinforce numbers and math skills.  My 87-page Rain Unit is chock full of a variety of skill sheets and fun ideas for rain-themed centers as well! Become a gold subscription member and get all my activities at no additional cost!

April art project, rain art project, cloud art projectApril art project, cloud art project, rain art project, flower art project, May art projectTinsel Rain:

One of the prettiest April art projects my students create is their rain cloud mobile.  The rain is made out of silver tinsel that I buy on sale after Christmas.  We tape it to the bottom of one of the clouds and then put another cloud over the top.  This project can be found in my 98-page May Art Book and is one of my students’ favorites!


It’s pouring right now as I put the finishing touches on this article.  The perfect weather to do some fun projects or snuggle with your little one and read some great books! Puddles are beginning to pool and there’s mud everywhere!

One of my personal favorites is Mud Puddle


It’s my favorite book by this author.  Can a mud puddle really sneak up on a child and get them dirty?  How fun is that? The repetitious verse and “What do you think will happen next?” predictability, make it a wonderful read aloud, and will have your students waiting in anticipation and giggling!

Stuck in the Mud story

muddyI also recommend Mud by Wendy Lewison.  My Y5's LOVE this book.  It's an easy read and the pictures get them giggling.  They'd love nothing better than to jump into the pages and join the characters getting dirty playing in the mud.  It's a wonderful "what do you think will happen next?" prediciton book as well. 

  Stuck in the Mud, by Jane Clarke, is also a “must have” for your “mud collection”.  A little chick is stuck in the mud and 1-by-1 the farm animals try to get her out.  Rhyme and repetition of (s)he pushed and (s)he pulled make this another fun read aloud with a surprise ending.

mud_bookFinally, Mud by Mary Lyn Ray is a lovely free-form poem that includes great descriptive words with lovely illustrations that make mud and springtime come alive.

 Well it’s time for me to don my umbrella and boots and brave the rain, puddles, and mud--not that I really want to go out, but we have a new puppy and she needs to, sort of fitting as it’s raining cats and dogs!raining cats and dogs, april art projects,








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