Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles
Defenders: Sea TurtlesBasic facts about sea turtles: Diet, population, range, behavior, reproduction, etc.
SeeTurtles: Sea Turtle Facts – Habitat & Diet, Human Threats, Life Cycle, Species
World Wildlife Federation: Sea TurtleGeneral information.
Sea Turtle ConservancyInformation about sea turtles, their habitats and threats to their survival.
SeaWorld Parks & EntertainmentHabitat & Distribution: Distribution, habitat, migration, population, etc.
National Geographic Kids – Green Sea TurtleGeneral information.
Wikipedia: Sea Turtles Description, taxonomy and evolution, distribution and habitat, life cycle and more.



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Optical Illusions

Wikipedia: Optical Illusion

Wikipedia: Optical Illusion – Explains what an illusion is and how it works.

Michael Bach: Optical Illusions & Visual Phenomena – 129 of them offered on this site! – 100 Illusions offered.

NIH: Illusions – Explains what an illusion is and offers a few examples.

Eye Tricks: Illusions – Scroll down a bit to get to the gallery with 70 illusions. This site offers a collection of Stereograms (3D hidden images) as well.

Grand Illusions: Optical Illusions – Offers a few pages of optical illusions.

Science Kids: Illusions – Offers a variety of optical illusions.

Neuroscience for Kids: Sight (Vision) – This site offers a few explanations of how sight works and some experiments to try. 

Optic 4 Optical Illusions: What is an Optical Illusion? – Offers some examples of illusions.

Huffington Post: 3D Optical Illusions By Kokichi Sugihara Will Make You Believe The Impossible (VIDEO)


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Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!

Animal Tracker

Many animals leave signs that they have been around. This activity will have you identifying the signs that tell you what it may be and how you can track them.

You will need: Sketchpad and pencil or a camera
Optional: A pocket microscope

What to look for…

This activity suggests that you observe only. Touching is not recommended.

Insects: Look for plants and leaves that have been chewed. Trees with holes. Watch a patch of flowers being pollinated. Movement in the grass. Eggs under leaves. Various stages of larvae. Listen for them. Look for evidence of insect scat as well.

Spiders: Look for their webs between trees and under things. Each spider makes a unique web and can be identified by it if they are not present.

Birds: Look in trees for nests, listen for them. Make a bird feeder and bring them to you. Look up in the sky or on the ground. Watch them on the beach and near water too. 

Mammals: Look for tracks in the dirt, mud or in puddles, on the sidewalk, in the grass. Look for their scat, but don’t touch it.

Reptiles: Snakes can be found sunning themselves at various points of the day. Approaching them is not recommended. Observe only.
Lizards can be found running around in gardens and sunning themselves in the morning.

Amphibians: Look on land and near water. Look for them at night near a porch light.

Fish/Sealife: Watch the water for signs of jumping, schooling and feeding. Some areas may have shrimp or crabs running during certain times of the year. Look for fins out of the water as well. You might be able to catch a dolphin surfing in some areas!

Places to visit…

The beach, a pond, lake, inlets, woods, your back yard, gardens, the park, near lights at night, etc..

Times to look

Early in the morning, at dusk, early evening. Listen throughout the day.

Bring a friend!

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Hunt For June Bugs

June Bug by Fran W.

What is a June bug?

A June bug, sometimes called a May or June beetle, is a type of scarab beetle that can be found all over North America. They can usually be seen swarming lights at night in late May or early June.

Hunt for June bugs…

Look for June bugs around your porch light at night or grab a flashlight and look for them in trees and bushes. Collect a few in a clean jar with holes in the top and use tweezers to examine them gently. Normally these bugs do not bite, so you can pick them up in order to get to know them a little better as well. After studying them for a little while with a magnifying glass, snap a picture, then let them go. 

During the day, they can often be found walking in grass or dead in a bucket of water, a pool, or pool filter. If you find one, pick it up with tweezers so you can examine it more closely with a magnifying glass. 


Learn more about June bugs by reading and watching the information offered below.
Find out what they eat, how they develop, how long they live, where they can be found, and what sounds they make.

Observe how a June bug acts and what it looks like

Identify some of the other bugs and animals that are out at night in addition to the June bug.

Start a collection if you find dead bugs.

Draw a picture of a June bug and where you found or saw it.


Bug Facts: June Bug – Information about where June bugs can be found, what they eat, look like, and their stages of development.

Wikipedia: June Bug – Life cycle information. Also: Phyllophaga

Related Posts:

Summertime Fun – June, Volume 1

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Wikipedia: Woodpecker – General characteristics, distribution, habitat and movements, behavior: diet and feeding, breeding, and systematic evolution.

All About Birds: Woodpeckers and Allies – Site includes the following info – A variety of woodpeckers, their identification, life history, and a sample of the sounds they make. Some videos have been included for some of the woodpeckers as well.

Defenders:  Woodpeckers: Basic Facts – Info includes – Diet, population, range, behavior, reproduction, and protection status.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Article: 
Woodpecker Images in the Late Prehistoric Southeast Bird Watching Activities – Offers a variety of ideas for bringing birds to your yard.

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Black-rumped Flameback

When To Plant

Anytime of the Year

Urban Farmer: What to Plant Now

Almanac: Gardening 
Click on ‘Personalized Planting Calendar‘, type in your zip code to find out what and when to grow, and when to harvest.

Spring & Summer
Articles & Information

About: Organic Gardening: Vegetable & Herbs To Plant In August

Fall & Winter
Articles & Information


Mother Nature Network: Fall Vegetable Garden

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Defenders: Sharks: Basic Facts – Basic facts, dietary information, population, behavior, protection status, and more.

WikipediaSharks – Etymology, evolution, anatomy, physiology, senses, history and more.

USA Today: Article: Virtual reality gives stunning 350-degree view of great white sharks – Information about the company that did the project video.

Shark This site offers a lot of great information about sharks including: Types of Sharks, shark anatomy, history of sharks, facts & FAQ’s, and a shark blog.

National Geographic: Sharks – Page offers information about sharks, including informative videos, and an online puzzle.

Shark Friends: Swimming – Facts about the way sharks swim, including why they can not swim backward.

Shark SaversShark’s Teeth – How many teeth does a shark have in a lifetime?

Prehistoric Wildlife: Top 10 Prehistoric Sharks – Find out some information about prehistoric sharks.

Kidzone: Sharks – Shark activities, facts and pictures.

Enchanted Learning: All About Sharks – Includes: Size, anatomy, varieties, skeleton, teeth, diet and more.

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Pine Trees

Pine Cones

Birds and Blooms: Make Color-Changing Pine Cones for your fireplace.

Homeschool Ideas: Homeschool Science: Colored Pine Cones

BackyardParent: Pine Cone Bird Feeder

Crafty Morning: Pine Cone Crafts for Kids

Bren Did:  How To Prepare Pine Cones For Crafts

Pine Needles

Doodles & Jots: Turn a bunch of pine needles into a paint brush.

Native TechPine Needle Tea

Home Talk: Homemade Pine Needle Facial Toner &  Tartan Pine Needle Sachets

Urban Comfort: Evergreen Imprinted Clay Dishes

Survival Life5 Survival Uses of Pine Resin

Pine Needle VinegarEvergreen Scented Vinegar

Krokotak: FALL STARS from Chestnut Leaf Stalks – Pine needle star craft.

Bark & Twigs

Survival TopicsEdible Pine Bark

eHow: DIY Winter Solstice Lanterns

Trendy Tree: Lighted Pinecone Branch Centerpiece

HowStuff WorksPine Twig Trivet

Mixed Ideas

7 DIY Ways To Make Your House Smell Amazing For The-Holidays

One Acre Farm: 4 Wild Winter Teas & A Chocolate Drink

How Pine Trees Grow

Macmillan McGraw-Hill: Life Cycle Of A Pine Tree – Video and pictures.

Boundless: Life Cycle of a Conifer

Native Plants & Wildlife: Life Cycle of the Long-Leaf Pine Tree

How Lumber Is Made

DIY Sawmills: Turning Logs Into Lumber for Furniture

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Note: If this, or any other post on, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!
Pine Trees

Human Body: Blood

Wikipedia: Blood – Explains what blood is, its function, and parts. This site has information about Red Blood Cells as well. 

HowStuffWorks: How Blood Works – What makes up blood? How does the body make blood? Find out in this article. Scroll through the pages with the arrows on the top and bottom of the article.

The Franklin Institute: Your Living Blood – Information includes: It’s Alive, Blood Vessels, Red & White Blood Cells, All About Scabs, What types: What’s the Difference? and other topics.

America’s Blood Center: What is Blood? – Infographics explain how blood works.

University of Rochester Medical Center: What Are Red Blood Cells? – What are red blood cells?, Red Blood Cells At Work, Nutrition and Red Blood Cells, and Illnesses of the Red Blood Cells.

Tour A Blood Bank

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth: Blood Bank: Virtual Tour – Short picture tour.

Giving Blood: History of Blood Banking – Timeline history of blood baking from c. 2500 BCE – 1999


Related Posts on Fran’s World of Discovery…

Human Heart Resource Page

Fake Blood & Scabs

Connect with Fran’s World of Discovery!

If you find a broken link, please let me know by leaving a comment! If you have a site to share, please leave me a comment with the URL. Thank you!

Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!

*An animation of a typical human red blood cell cycle in the circulatory system. This animation occurs at real time (20 seconds of cycle) and shows the red blood cell deform as it enters capillaries, as well as changing color as it alternates in states of oxygenation along the circulatory system.

Wolf Resources

General Information

Gray Wolf Pups by spacebirdy / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Sheppard Software: Wolves – Information about appearances, character and behavior, reproduction and classification. Site offers some pictures.

National Geographic Kids: Gray Wolf – Pictures, facts, maps and more.


Wolf Worlds: Types of Wolves – Facts about wolves.

Wikipedia: Subspecies of Canis lupus and Gray Wolf – Information.

International Wolf Center: Types of Wolves – Scientific classification of wolves.

Wolves of the World – Site offers pictures of wolves around the world.


Animal Corner: Wolf Anatomy – Labeled parts and information.

Running With The Wolves – Anatomy – Labeled pictured, includes reproductive organs.

Wolf Haven: Anatomy and Habitat – Physical description: Bones, teeth, tracks, and more. 

Wolf Folktales, Myths, Legends, & Stories

Wikipedia: Wolves in Folklore, Religion and Mythology – Cultural beliefs.
Native American Wolf Mythology – Names of Native American Wolf Gods and Spirits and Native American Legends About Wolves

Wolf Country: Myths, Legends, & Stories: Site offers 20 wolf related stories. This site offers 11 tracks of wolf sounds as well.

Living With Wolves: Tackling the Myths – 5 myths about wolves.

Fun For Kids

Wild Kids – Wolf vocabulary, fun facts, articles, a wolf mask, coloring book, and more.

Sheppard Software: Wolf Puzzle – Play on line.

Wolf Conservation Center: Coloring pages, word search, mask, quiz and more.

Printable wolf-related word puzzles can be found on the following sites:

             Zoobooks            Cybersleuth Kids           Wolfology 1
Activity Village: Wolves – Information, crafts and printables that are wolf related.

Artist Helping Children: Wolf Crafts for Kids – Offers links to other sites.

DLTK: Wolves – Puzzle, coloring pages, and craft ideas.

First School: Wolves – Coloring pages, puzzle, crafts, and wolf related stories.

Videos & Cams

WCC: Wolf Cam – Ambassador Wolves Zephyr, Alawa, and Nikai: Wolf Rock Cam

Click on the playlist to see video names.

Connect with Fran’s World of Discovery!

If you find a broken link, please let me know by leaving a comment! If you have a site to share, please leave me a comment with the URL. Thank you!

Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!

Snowshoe Hare (Rabbit)

Snowshoe Hare, Shirleys Bay
Photo by: D. Gordon E. Robertson
National Geographic: Snowshoe Hare
Information, audio file, facts, map.
Wikipedia: Snowshoe Hare
Photos, habitat, food.
National Wildlife Federation: Snowshoe Hare
Description and facts.
BioKids: Snowshoe Hare
Kid friendly site.
University of Michigan: Museum of Zoology Version
EEK! Critter Corner: Snowshoe Hare
Information, food for thought, and how to track

 Alderleaf Wilderness College: Hare and Rabbit Tracks & Sign
An online guide.

Draw a Snowshoe Hare

We Draw Animals: Snowshoe Hare
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for drawing instructions.

Exploring Nature Educational Resources: Snowshoe Hare Tracks
Identify snowshoe hare tracks. 

Video 17:34: How to Draw the Snowshoe Rabbit from Jan Brett’s, “The Animals’ Santa” 



More YouTube Videos


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Frog Research Project

Use the follow frog information as an independent study, family learning project or as a jumping off point for a longer frog study. If you like this project page, please share the link with others. Thank you!

Fun Frog Facts…
(Click on each fact to find out more.)
Research Questions
Do frogs see in black & white or color?
Why is their tongue sticky?
How does the ‘slime’ on their body protect them?
How long is a frog’s leg?
How does a frog hop? (How do their leg muscles work?)
Why do some frogs jump higher than others?
Can any frogs stay in water as an adult?
Are any frogs scavengers? (What do they eat?)
How many different kinds of frogs are there?
How many kinds of poisonous frogs are there? Why are they poisonous? Can anything eat them and live? How do Aboriginal tribes use poisonous frogs?
Do all frogs bleed red?
What kind of myths surround frogs?
Where did the word ‘frog’ originate from?
Research Resources
Mixed Information
All About Frogs: Frogland! – Site offers a lot of information including: News, a blog, pet frog info, how to say frog in different languages, fables, and much more.
Wikipedia: FrogsSite offers a lot of information about frogs including: Etymology and taxonomy, evolution, morphology and physiology, locomotion, life history, defence, distribution and conservation status, uses and cultural beliefs
AMNH: Exhibits: Frogs: A Chorus of Colors American Museum of Natural History provides an online exhibit about frogs including: The Amazing Adaptable Frog, Featured Frog Species, Poison Dart Frog Vivarium, Reproduction, A Frog’s Life, Frogs and the Ecosystem, Frog Research at the Museum, Meet the Curator, Frog Sounds, Frog Fun Facts
Enchanted Learning: FrogsInformation, crafts and printables related to frogs. Some activities my require a membership to print.
Defenders of Wildlife: FrogsSite offers basic facts about frogs including diet, population, an area map and things that threaten the frog population.
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency: Frogs! – This site offers a kid-friendly section with frog sounds, coloring pages and facts. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resourcesoffers a lot of information about frogs and toads.
Franklin Institute: AmphibiansInformation about amphibians.
HowStuffWorks: FrogsAnswers the questions: Are All Frogs Green?, Are All Frog Feet the Same?, Where in the World Do Frogs and Other Amphibians Live?, Why Are Frogs So Cold?, Are Some Frogs Poisonous? This site also has a section about How Frogs Work.
Exploratorium: The Amazing Adaptable Frog– A Story by Pear Tesler
Animals: About: Frogs and Toads– Information about frogs and toads.

Welcome All About Frogs & Toads Article talks about the differences between frogs and toads. Also talks about what the moisture on a frog’s skin is and why they have a sticky tongue.

The Frog: Vision– Do frogs see in color or black and white? Find out here!
Pawnation: Frogs: Can Frogs See Colors? – Article about frog vision.
American Museum of Natural History: Frog Eyes – Offers a small amount of information about a frog’s eyes.
Eye Design Book: Eye Design Illustrations – Offers a few pictures of different kinds of frog eyes.
BBC: Frog’s tongue’ can lift three times own body weight’Read the results of a scientific study.
Pawnation: Frog’s Tongue Attached Differently Then HumansArticle about the attachment location of a frog’s tongue, how they push their tongue out, their contact with prey and hunting style.
All About Frogs: Frogland: MouthA little bit of information about how a frog uses its tongue to eat.
Legs – Jumping & Hopping
Daily Mail: Boing! How frogs’ legs wind up their tendons ‘like a catapult’ to let them leap high into the air – Article about a study done by Brown University to see how frogs jump. Jump to it! A frog’s leaping style depends on the environment – An article about an Australian frog jumping study.

Pawnation: Are The Hind Legs or Forelegs More Important in Landing For a Frog? – Find out under what circumstances a frog depends on its hind legs and forelegs to land.

Scientific American: Sticky Business: Tree Frogs Hang Tight–But How? – Article about how frogs stick to things.
Exploratorium: Frogs: Feet – Top part of article has information about frog feet.
Fox News: Tree Frogs Use Geometry to Stick to Walls – Find out how frogs need to angle their feet so they can stick to things.

New Scientist: Friction Helps Frogs Stick to Ceiling – Article about how frogs use different methods to stick to things.

Pawnation: Frogs: What Kind Of Frog Changes Colors?Find out what frogs change colors.
Exploratorium: Frogs: Skin – The lower part of the article on this page offers information about a frog’s skin. This page, on the same site, talks about color and camouflage.
All About Frogs: Super Skin – Find out how frogs use their skin in this short article.
Brown University: Frog Respiration – Find out how frogs use their skin to breath.
Virtual Dissections & Anatomy Diagrams
Virtual Lab: Virtual Frog DissectionDissect a frog virtually while the site explains what is being shown. (Site uses a combination of a real frog dissection and digital diagrams.)
Frog Life Cycle: Diagram of FrogTips for drawing a diagram of a frog.
Froggy: Teaching Tool: Diagrams Site offers 4 labeled diagrams of the inside of a frog: Skeletal System, organs, digestive system, and nervous system. Click on each picture to make it larger.
Sound and Communication
Wikipedia: Frog Hearing & Communication – Find out how frogs communicate through sound and why.
All About Frogs: Songs – Scroll down a little and listen to a variety of frog sounds on the page.
Leaps: Sound Page – Each sound will need to be downloaded to be listened to.
AMNH: Frog SoundsThis page offers videos of frog sounds from 15-36 seconds long. Listen right on the site.
Life Cycle and Types of Frogs
Stages of Life
Enchanted Learning: Frog Printout & Sequencing Cards
Franklin Institute: Frog Life Cycle – Pictures of the stages of life with an explanation right next to each picture.
Animals: About: Frogs– Offers photos and information about the life stages of frogs.
Frog Life Cycle: The Life Cycle of a FrogCute description of a frog’s life cycle.

Frog Life Cycle: What Do Frogs Eat and What Eats Frogs?A short article.
FROGDAZE: Caring For Your FrogTips for caring for a pet frog.
Frog Garden: What do frogs eat?– Tips for feeding pet frogs and a video of 6 frogs eating 100 flies.

Frog žába Self-published work by Ervín Pospíšil
California Herps: All Frogs – A long list of frogs found on the website.
University of Florida: Extension Services: Frogs and Toads – List of frogs and toads that can be found in Florida.
OzAniamals: Australian Frogs– An A-Z list of the frogs that can be found in Australia.
USGS: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center: Order Anura: Frogs and Toads – Vast list of frogs and toads. Click on the highlighted words to see and learn about each animal.
Wikipedia: List of Amphibians of the World– List includes: frogs, toads, salamanders and caecilians
Frog Life Cycle: How to Tell Apart Different Types of FrogsA short article about how to tell a frog from a toad.
KidZone: Species of Frogs Includes: Darwin’s Frog, Goliath Frog, Northern Leopard Frog, Ornate Horned Frog, Poison Dart Frog and Tree Frogs
Aquatic Frogs

Pawnation: Types Of Underwater Frogs – Site offers information about frogs that live in water in their adult stage of life. The Congo Dwarf Clawed Frog, Western Dwarf Clawed Frog, African Clawed Frog, Western Clawed Frog. Choosing an Aquatic Frog – Article offers helpful information about purchasing an aquatic frog as a pet.

Aquatic Frogs: In Depth Information on Common Aquatic Clawed Frogs – Site offers information about a variety of aquatic clawed frogs.

Endangered Frogs
Earth’s Endangered Creatures: Amphibians– List of endangered amphibia
ns including frogs.
Save the Frogs– Find out how you can help frogs.
Poisonous Frogs
Pawnation: Frogs: Blue Poisonous Dart Frog– Information about this type of poisonous frog: Why they are poisonous, characteristics, habitat, mating habits and reproduction.
AMNH: Poison Dart Frog Vivarium – When you get to the site, look to the left and you will see a variety of poisonous frog information.
Myths, Fables & Origins
Many frog fables do not end well for the frog!
Myths& Fables
Exploratorium: Frogs: Folklore– On the bottom of the page, you’ll see the word, “next”, click on the word to go to the next folklore.
Burke Museum: Frog Myths – If you kiss a frog, will it turn into a prince? What really happens when you kiss a frog? Find out the answer to this question and others on this fact page.
All About Frogs: Fables– Site offers 16 fables based on frogs: The Boys and the Frogs, Frog and Toad, The Boiled Frog, and The Scorpion and the Frog…just to name a few.
Frog Life Cycle: Kiss A Frog & Other Frog Myths – Offers some history about frog myths and beliefs and where they came from.
Word Origins
Merriam Webster: FrogFind out where the word ‘frog’ came from and other meanings of the word. Kid-friendly definition with illustration. 
Frog Related Activities
DLTK: Frogs– Frog related activities include: Crafts, coloring pages, puzzles and songs.
Enchanted Learning:Frog Crafts – Offers various types of frog crafts. Frog jokes and riddles can be found here on the same site.
First School: Frogs– This site offers information and activities about frogs. Some of the top links do not work on this page, but the ones that do work are fun and informative.
Wikihow: Make an Origami Jumping Frogs from an Index Card: Offers Moving-image instructions.
Make Learning Fun: Frog Printables – Crafts, coloring pages, literacy ideas, math ideas, science ideas, printables and more.
Artists Helping Children:Frog and Toad Crafts– Site offers a variety of frog and toad related crafts.
Kid’s Zone: FrogsThis site offers a whole project based on frogs. Frog related activities that reach across the curriculum and many are printable. There is a section for frog facts and photos.
Etheme: Frogs & Toads– Links to other frog and/or toad related sites.
Burke Museum: Frog Questions– Site offers 16 questions and answers about frogs. Here are a few of the questions: What is the difference between frogs and toads?, Do frogs breathe when they are hibernating?, Do frogs sleep?, How do frogs hear?, Do frogs drink water? and others.
Franklin Institute: Make Your Own PondInstructions for making your own frog pond. This site also has a Word Search
Frog Related Activities for Experience-Based Learning
  • Start a frog book (ebook or physical book), a blog post or site with the information you gather and find interesting.
  • Come up with your own questions about frogs and/or add to the ones in this resource.
  • See if you can find frogs in the yard or the places you go. Consider journaling, taking pictures or drawing the things you see.
  • If you look in ponds, streams, rivers, deep puddles, containers of water, or unkept pools, to see if you can find frogs at different stages of life: eggs, tadpoles and adult frogs.
  • Raise a frog of your own.
  • Find out what cultures eat frogs or use them for other things.
  • Make your own frog information cards. Frogs-Pictures offers some pictures you can print and use for this activity.
  • Make up your own frog jokes!
  • If you see a frog at any stage of life, draw it, and the surrounding area.
  • Go outside and listen to a variety of frog sounds. See what you can identify. Use the resources in “sound and communication” above to help identify what you are listening for.
  • Count the frogs you see and report them to Frog USA.
  • Find out what happens when an invasive species of frog comes into a region.
  • Find out what you can about endangered frogs.
  • Find out what frogs are already extinct and how it happened.
  • Found out what you can do to help the frog population.
YouTube Videos

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Greenfrog life stages.svgan

Greenfrog life stages” by LadyofHats – Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons.