Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fun with Frog and Toad and FREEBIES!

I've talked about Frog and Toad before- and how much I love using these books in my class.  I love the relationship between Frog and Toad, and the stories are just right for the kids near the end of Kindergarten. It works out perfectly, because that's when we usually have frog and toad eggs to watch in our class. Although, the stories are great any time of the year.  

I made a Frog and Toad Prezi (free at my TPT store) that I use all the time in the spring when we are watching our eggs (and reading these stories!).  It has lots of videos of the stories, videos about frogs and toads, ideas, games, and charts to use if you are reading Frog and Toad, or having a science lesson about frogs and/or toads!

I am linking up with Mrs. Jump's Class for Book Talk Tuesday. Thank you, Deanna, for hosting!
One year, I found some large, hard cover Frog and Toad book. I just saw them the other day at Barnes and Nobel. They are "discount" books, and I think they were $7.98. These have been so great because the pictures are a little easier for the kids to see than the ones in the smaller paperback books. 

I thought I would share some activities that I like to do to go along with some of the stories.  This week, I am going to share ideas for Frog and Toad Together.  I have a little summary of each chapter (story) in the book from Wikipedia, then some ideas that I do to go with each story. A video of each of these stories is on my Prezi.

  • A List: Toad wakes up one morning and decides to write a list of things to do for the day. After writing the list and doing the first few items on it (wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed, and go to Frog's house), he goes over to Frog's house and invites him to take a walk with him. During the walk, while Toad is crossing off "Take walk with Frog," a sudden gust of wind blows away the list. Frog tries to catch the list, but to no avail. As Toad can't remember what else was on the list, he and Frog just sit and do nothing until night falls and Toad suddenly remembers that going to sleep was the last thing on his list, which is what the two friends do.
A List is a perfect story to introduce list writing to the children.  Lists are such a great way for kids to practice writing- at any age.  When I taught my own children writing, we used to always warm up by writing a list of something - even when they were in middle school.  It's a great way to get your mind thinking of different ideas.  In fact, I made a list of list ideas- how is that for a list!  You could use this list with any age, really.  Click on the picture below if you would like a copy. 

  • The Garden: Toad is impressed with the garden Frog has grown and wishes he had one too, so Frog gives him a bag of flower seeds. Once Toad plants the seeds, he shouts at them to start growing, prompting Frog to come up and tell him the seeds are afraid to grow at the moment. Even though Frog tells Toad to leave the seeds alone and let the sun and rain do their work to help the seeds grow, Toad tries every other way (reading a story, singing songs, reading poetry, and playing music), all to no avail. Exhausted, Toad falls asleep one night, and the next morning, Frog wakes up Toad to show him that the seeds are starting to grow. Toad is glad he'll soon have a garden as good as Frog's because what he did was hard work.
The Garden is a perfect introduction to planting seeds and a discussion about what seeds need to grow.  We plant do an interactive writing activity about what plants need to grow, and then plant our own flower seeds. 

  • Cookies: Toad bakes some cookies and goes over to Frog's house to share the cookies with Frog. Toad has made the cookies so delicious that he and Frog at first can't seem to stop eating them, even when they promise themselves to stop. Frog eventually announces they need will power to stop themselves from eating all of the cookies. Even though Frog puts the cookies in a box, ties up the box with string, and puts it on a high shelf, Toad points out what they can still do to eat the rest of the cookies. Frog does eventually open the box, but takes it outside and allows flocks of birds to eat up all the cookies. Even though Frog and Toad now have plenty of will power, Toad decides to bake a cake next.
Cookies is one of my FAVORITE stories!  I love to use Cookie Crisp cereal after we read this story to work on addition and subtraction word problems.  You could also use chocolate chips.  Cookie Crisp and chocolate chips work great for ten frame lessons, too. 
Sometimes I roll a big die with teen numbers on it, and the children have to fill in their ten frames with that number of chocolate chips or mini cookies.  

On a workmat (or piece of paper) with a line down the middle, we turn it horizontal for over, under, above, below ( "Put 3 cookies above the line. Put 2 cookies under the line.")   I have a cookie jar workmat, and I will have them put 5 cookies in the jar and one cookie out of the jar... We do more and less, and addition and subtraction problems.  Every so often their job is to eat a cookie.  Nobody ever has trouble with that job.

Elementary Endeavors shared this great Cookie Cover Up activity.
                                          Cookie Cover Up (Addition game)

Cookie Monster is always nearby watching and seeing who are SMART COOKIES!
Here are some other books I love to use with a cookie theme.
This book is a great introduction to learning the days of the week, and retelling a story.
A Child's Place offers a sequencing activity free to go along with Cookie's Week. 

Cookies: Bite Size Life Lessons, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a wonderful Character Education book that explains different character traits with very kid-friendly vocabulary.   
 Here are some examples:

"Cooperate means, 'How about you add the chips while I stir?' " "Trustworthy means, If you ask me to hold your cookie until you come back, when you come back, I will still be holding your cookie."  "Fair means, you get a bite, I get a bite."  "Regret means, I really wish I didn't eat so many cookies." "Content means sitting on the steps just you, me, and a couple of cookies."
The illustrations are absolutely beautiful and sweet. 

Of course, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie goes right along with your cookie study.  (Could a cookie study be a real thing?!) I found some wonderful freebies to go with this story. 

Rachel D. has a great counting/ beginning letter freebie at her TPT store!
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Counting and Letter Sound Activity 
Stuff from Steff has a great free cookie counting activity for this book.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie / Cookie Count {FREE}
Rachel Friedrich has a wonderful free emergency sub plan unit for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie!

                                              Kindergarten If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Emergency Sub Plans
The McGrew Crew shared a great writing activity to go with the book!
                                                If You Give A Mouse A Cookie Writing & Drawing Activity
Amanda Abernathy  shared these great sequencing cards!

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Sequencing Cards

  • Dragons and Giants: While reading a book about knights in shining armor, Frog and Toad are impressed about how brave the heroes in the book are and wonder if they're brave themselves. Although the mirror shows that they look brave, the friends decide to test their bravery by climbing a nearby mountain. After escaping a hungry snake and narrowly avoiding an avalanche, Frog and Toad reach the top of the mountain, but leave in a hurry after a near escape from a hawk. Once they arrive back at Toad's house and hide in the closet and bed, Frog and Toad admit that they're brave enough to have each other as good friends.
Dragons and Giants is a great story to introduce the concept of being brave with the children.  We talk a lot about being brave in our class.  One big way the children show they are brave is when they try to write words on their own by hearing sounds, and try to get ideas down on paper.  I tell them to just be BRAVE and try.  I included a section about being BRAVE on my Primary Writing Prezi, and  we sing (at the top of our lungs) before writing some days, just to remember that we need to be brave and TRY new things!
It's also a great story to introduce a Fairy Tale Unit.

  • The Dream: One night, while Toad is asleep in bed, he has a dream in which he is on stage and wearing a costume. A voice from an unseen character presents Toad as the Greatest Toad in all the world while Toad's only audience is Frog. Toad does every act great (playing the piano, walking on a high wire, and dancing) and while he does these things and asks Frog if he can do them, Frog shrinks in size and admits he can't do them. Eventually, the dream becomes a nightmare when Toad's dancing act has made Frog shrink too small to be seen or heard. Worried for his friend, Toad prevents the voice from announcing his next act and tries calling out for Frog, only for the dream to end with him spinning in the dark. Toad wakes up from his dream to see Frog in his house and, when they both play together outside, is very relieved that what he experienced was only a bad dream.

The Dream is a good story to have a turn and talk about dreams the children have had or dreams they have in their lives about things they want to do.  Then, I let them draw and write about a dream that they have had and share it with the class.

Have fun with Frog and Toad!  Thanks for stopping by!



  1. Carolyn, you've totally convinced me to start reading Frog and Toad to my kids! I'm actually embarrassed to tell you that I've never read them before. And I even had a frog in my classroom! Shame on me!

    I also taught Alicia how to write my making lists. We made grocery store lists, lists of people in the family, lists of her favorite toys, and lists of how to clean her room up. She did really well with lists. Her ADHD made it really impossible for her to remember what she needed to take to school in the morning. Once we started doing lists, we no longer had to drive her lunchbox to her school. :)

    I also love this because last year we just started doing Writing Fundamentals, and it has a whole unit on making lists.

    You are the best! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Sharon Dudley, NBCT
    Teaching with Sight

  2. You really post a lot of great resources!

  3. Carolyn your blog posts are SO AMAZING! I don't know how you do it so consistently! Guess what? It's only 352 days til I get to meet you in Vegas! Woo!
    Whimsy Workshop Teaching


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