“Do we really have to take them back?” my students cried last Thursday morning. “Yes, I’m afraid we do,” I said reluctantly. I get just as attached to our fledgling Wood Frogs and tadpoles every year as my Kindergarteners. Later that afternoon we began our journey next door to the town conservation land trail that leads to the vernal pool to return three fully developed frogs and two in the process of reabsorbing their tails.
Two and a half months ago, the conservation biologist whom we work closely with collected wood frog spawn from our vernal pool for seven Kindergarten classrooms in our district to head start. We each received approximately 20-30 tadpoles to raise until the end of the school year, giving them a better shot at survival. With just six school days left in the year, it’s almost time to take them all back to their natural home no matter what metamorphic stage they are in.
But our journey on Thursday was just about our tiny new frogs. When we arrived at the vernal pool, one student suggested we recite our Vernal Pool, Vernal Pool. What Do You See? play, which I wrote for our annual Kindergarten Eric Carle celebration last week. (Think Brown Bear, Brown Bear, but with vernal pool and woodland creatures that make their home in the woods next to our school!) He thought all the animals might enjoy it. We formed a semi-circle around the banks of the vernal pool and begin reciting the play. (Click here to watch a video.) A few lines in, a boy noticed a large Green Frog camouflaged in mud sitting on a piece of wood in the pool. He appeared to be listening intently! When he was still sitting there at the end of the play, the class burst into a rousing rendition of “Five Green and Speckled Frogs.” (Click here to watch a video.)
And with that, I gently placed our very own “five green and speckled frogs” back into their watery home where they each hopped or swam away to (hopefully) live happily ever after.
Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life each Tuesday. Won’t you join us?