Learning to Count with Frogs
Learning to count can be a joyful hop around the Frog Pond. With this froggy theme, children count their way around the frog board, count the flies the frog eats and count the hidden frogs.
From counting to 10 to helping in annual Frog Monitoring programs, this lens explores counting with a frog theme.
Using Frog Art to Learn to Count
How many frogs are in the picture?
How many other things can you count in this picture?
Very young children are learning one to one correspondence. At first it can be very difficult for them not to count things more that once, skip things or make a connection between the number words they are saying and the items being counted.
Sit your child in your lap and start to play this game:
1. Put a frog counter on a frog in the picture and say one frog.
2. Put a frog counter on the other frog and say two frogs.
3. Take off each of the frogs as you count to two again.
4. Now ask your child to try playing the game.
Five Little Tadpoles
The ordinal numbers tell the position, first, second, third etc.
Now we will learn the order of the tadpoles in the Five Little Tadpoles poem...
Once the children know the song well, we like to turn it into a dramatization. I have five children crouch down on chairs pretending to be frogs. As we sing the song, the frogs jump one at a time back into the water. (Off their chairs and onto the rug.
Five Little Tadpoles - Tadpole Math
Five Little Tadpoles
Five little tadpoles swimming near the shore.
The first one said, "Let's swim some more."
The second one said, "Let's rest awhile."
The third one said, "Swimming makes me smile."
The fourth one said, "My legs are growing long."
The fifth one said, "I'm getting very strong."
Five little tadpoles will soon be frogs.
They'll jump from the water and sit on logs.
- Five Little Tadpoles
Activities linking literature to mathematics on the Lit2Go site. Five Little Tadpoles
- Blackline Master of Frog Math
Frog and Tadpole math
- 5 Tadpoles
Hummingbird Educational Resources 5 Tadpoles 1. Start with a grocery shopping bag. 2. Draw underwater plants on blue paper and glued it on the bottom flap side of the bag. 3. Use an Exacto knife to cut the picture where the bottom flap/fold is.
- Hummingbird Educational Resources. Lesson Plans for Preschool-Kindergarten Educators. Free Printable
Lesson plans and teacher resources for themes and thematic units, literature, book activities, math, science, learning centers, social studies, computers, reading, writing, P.E./health, cooperative learning, and more. Get free downloadables, interact
Ten Little Froggies - A Frog Counting Song
Four little, five little, six little froggies,
Photo Credit: Four Frogson Flickr, Creative Commons.
Photo Credit: Five Frogs in the Public Domain
Photo Credit: Six Frogs on Flickr, Creative Commons.
The picture of the four froggies was taken by a second grade teacher while her students were choosing jobs for the week. She was holding those frogs in her hand as she took the picture.
You can tell that this is a work in progress. I am searching for pictures of arts and crafts depicting frogs while at the same time illustrating different styles of art. Pictures like these can be used to illustrate the Ten Little Froggies song.
Seven little, eight little, nine little froggies,
Creating a Frog Book
Photo Credit: Seven Frogs by T.W. Woodruff
Used by Permission, All Rights Reserved
Photo Credit: Nine Frogs on Flickr, Creative Commons.
Later on as the children make various art projects, I will ask them to take pictures of the various different numbers of frogs and we will make them into a class book to show off all our artwork to our families. I will make this book the focus of a Literacy Bag so that it can make the rounds of all the homes in the class.
Leapfrog Counting - Transition Tips
Line up your crouching little froglets all facing the direction of the pond. The frog in the back starts counting as he or she leaps over all the rest of the little frogs counting each one.
Five Green and Speckled Frogs
Five Green and Speckled Frogs
Five green and speckled frogs
Sat on a speckled log
Eating some most delicious bugs
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool
Then there were
Four green and speckled frogs
(Repeat in descending order.)
Children love to sing along with Raffi as the frogs hop off the logs leaving less and less frogs to catch flies.
Teaching children songs, such as Five Green and Speckled Frogs, is a fun way for children to learn subtraction.
- Set up a flannel board with a log and five frogs
- Make number sentences to represent the math problems.
- Each time a frog jumps off the log, put up the corresponding number sentence.
Once the children know the song and subtraction sentences well:
- Shuffle and place the number sentences on the floor.
- At the end of each verse, challenge the children to choose the correct number sentence and place it on the board.
Twenty Froggies by George Cooper
Using Frog Poetry to Learn to Count
This poem is one of the first poems I ever learned. Twenty Froggies was written by George Cooper in the 1800's and was printed in school textbooks to be memorized. It was one of my Grandma Dewey's favorite poems and she loved to recite it to my sister and I.
You can use frogs and logs to count out twenty frogs and have them sit on two logs. Recite the poem and then practice counting by 10' to twenty or by 20's as high as you can.
Twenty froggies went to school
Down beside a rushy pool.
Twenty little coats of green,
Twenty vests all white and clean.
"We must be on time," said they,
"First we study, then we play.
Always heed the golden rule,
When we froggies go to school."
Mister Bullfrog, grave and stern,
Called the classes in their turn;
Taught them how to nobly strive,
Likewise, how to leap and dive.
From his seat upon a log,
Showed them how to say "KER-CHOG!"
Also how to dodge a blow
From the rocks that children throw.
Polished now in high degree,
As all froggies ought to be,
Proudly sit upon their logs,
Teaching all the little frogs.
Counting and Sorting Frog Buttons
Frogs for counting, sorting and to use as game pieces.
1. Take a small handful of frogs and sort them.
2. Count how many frogs are in each category.
- How many frogs are light green?
- How many frogs are big?
Frog Math Workmat
Make a collection of small frogs and paper plate holders. Children use them to sort the frogs. Let the children come up with their own categories and then ask them to describe the categories.
Skip Counting Frogs
Frogs have four feet so when they hop they leave four footprints in the mud. Children can take small plastic frogs, dip them in brown paint and leave their tracks across a paper. Then they skip count by 4's to see how many tracks they left.
1, 8, 12, 16 ...
This is a wonderful way to ease them in to multiplication.
Hop and Count Along the Number Line
1. Choose a frog counter and two dice of different colors.
2. Roll the dice and move your frog counter forward the number on the green die. Move your frog counter backward the number of spaces indicated on the red die.
3. The first one to get to 20 wins.
Frog Math: Predict, Ponder, Play - Hands-On Math for a Frog Unit Study
I highly recommend this book for creative, hands-on frog math teaching ideas:
With a theme based on the Frog and Toad series, Frog Math: Predict, Ponder, Play offers ideas for free exploration, sorting and classifying buttons. There are graphing and data organization activities as well as estimating the number of small plastic frogs in a jar and the number of Lima beans in a handful.
Board games such as Frog Pond and Frog Pond help develop strategy, probability and statistical skills.
Cooperation is emphasized throughout. The California Math Council has named Frog Math as a recommended replacement unit.