JAMESTOWN – Third graders at Lincoln Elementary School spent part of the pre-holiday break learning about frogs, thanks to the Roger Tory Peterson Institute.
Twan Leenders, President of the RTPI, brought some froggy friends to the classes of Cassie Stronz, Rhonda Ricker, Heidi Maggio and Mary Neumann, helping pupils to complete a “Freaky” Frog English Language Arts unit.
Teachers said Leenders’ visit was a great compliment to what they were learning in the classroom. Stronz connected with Leenders five years ago when his daughter was a third grader in her class.
During Leenders’ visit, he discussed his career, gave time for
observations of the frogs and answered students’ questions.
“Part of our curriculum is discussing how people become experts,” Stronz said. “It is beneficial for students to meet a real-life expert that connects to what they have been learning about, especially an expert right from our Jamestown community. Having this hands-on learning experience affords students the opportunity to make observations based on some of the topics we have discussed in class. They are able to make real-life connections. Students were so excited to pull out their poison dart frog books to
compare what they read to what they were actually observing.”
As part of the ELA unit, students use literacy skills to become experts— people who use reading, writing, listening and speaking to build and share deep knowledge about a topic. Students begin with a class study of the bullfrog, an example of a “true frog,” that exhibit quintessentially frog characteristics.
Then, students form research groups to become experts on various “freaky” frogs—frogs that push the boundaries of “froginess” with unusual adaptations that help them to survive in extreme environments throughout the world. Students build their reading, research, writing and collaborative discussion skills through studying their expert frog.