The Frog Scientist
It is such a nice rainy day to curl up with a good book! If you are in the 5th—7th grade range, one book I would recommend is The Frog Scientist by Pamela S. Turner. I love books that weave multiple elements all together, and this one does a splendid job of exhibiting beautiful photographs of various types of frogs along with information about why so many amphibians are in danger of becoming extinct. That’s not all! There is an amazing biography of Dr. Tyrone Hayes interwoven with his research on frogs. What a story! Now, mix in a little information on amphibian stages of development with Dr. Hays’ experiments to determine the effects of a pesticide on frogs, and you have a winner! The reader will feel like they have spent a summer shadowing Dr. Hayes from collecting specimen Wyoming to conducting research in Dr. Hayes’ lab.
You Tube has an episode from Strange Days on Planet Earth: Troubled Waters (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVKlt3DLzso ) from National Geographic Society that contains a clip about Dr. Hayes’ research.
The back matter contains a section on ways to help frogs in your community and a list of websites for more information about Dr. Hayes and frogs in general. http://nationalgeographic.org/archive/xpeditions/lessons/18/g912/hayes1.html
There is also a glossary and a page of frogs and toads featured in the book, as well as a note about the difference between frogs and toads.
This is one of several Scientists in the Field series. I have long been a believer in educating children about careers in science. Reading about what scientist actually do dispels the notion that scientists are all men in white lab coats that blow things up or put body parts together to create a Frankenstein!
MS-LS1-4 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes: Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.
MS-LS1-5 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes: Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.
MS-LS3-2 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits: Develop and use a model to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation.
|5-ESS2-1 Earth’s Systems: Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.
5-ESS3-1 Earth’s Systems: Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.