## HOP TO IT! Grades K-4

Students will learn how a frog's strong back legs allow it to hop long distances. Segments from two ITV programs will be used to help students become interested in imitating the jumping behaviors of frogs. The students will estimate the distances they can jump with two different movements. They will jump and measure the actual distances to determine which kind of jumping resulted in longer jumps. The students will use this information to make second estimates and jumps. This information, as well as their personal reactions to the comfort and ease of each type of jump, will help students determine which kind of jumping is best for them. Although this lesson could stand alone, it would fit nicely as the opening activity in a science study about frogs or within a unit on measurement. This lesson can be completed in one day.
Reading Rainbow #415: My Little Island
The Magic School Bus #105: The Magic School Bus Hops Home
Students will be able to:
• estimate the distance they will travel with two different types of jumps.
• measure the distance of the two different types of jumps using nonstandard measurements (such as linking cubes, especially for younger students) or standard measurements (centimeters, in most cases).
• use the information gathered from the first set of two jumps to estimate the distance they will travel with a second round of jumps.
• use the information they have gathered to draw a conclusion about the best type of jumping for them.

Math Objectives:
• Demonstrate an understanding of measurement concepts using metric and customary units.
• Demonstrate an understanding of probability and statistics.
• Estimate solutions to a problem situation.

Science Objectives:
• Acquire scientific data and/or information.
• Interpret scientific data and/or information.
• Make inferences, form generalized statements, and/or make predictions using scientific data and/or information.
Per class:
• diagram of a hopping frog
if using nonstandard measure:
• large paper clips
• crayons or straws
if using standard measure:
• tape measures or meter sticks
Per student:
• a recording sheet
• pencil or crayon
• frog
• front legs
• short
• land
• jump
• back legs
• long
• hop
• squat
• hands
• feet
• knees
• bend
• legs
• swing
• arms
• distance
• estimate
• measure
• far

Tell students that in this activity they will be moving like a certain animal and measuring to see how well they do at moving like this animal. Ask the students to guess what animal they will be moving like. After several students have had the opportunity to guess, tell them that LeVar Burton was out on a search for one of these animals in the Reading Rainbow program about the book "My Little Island". Tell students that they should watch carefully to determine what animal LeVar was looking for and where he would find this animal.

Background information: Frogs are amphibians. They have backbones and their skeletons are inside their bodies. Frogs are cold-blooded, so their body temperature stays the same as the air or water around them. Frogs usually have moist skin. A frog has a large mouth with a long sticky tongue that shoots out quickly to catch prey like insects. Frogs lay eggs in the water which hatch into tadpoles. Tadpoles go through metamorphosis, which is a series of changes to the size, shape, and appearance of it body. Frogs have four appendages. The two front legs are short and weak. Each front leg has four toes and is used for balance and to land after a jump. The two back legs are long and well developed. Each back leg has five toes and many frogs have webbed back feet used for swimming. A frog rests with its back legs folded so it can hop quickly to catch prey or to escape from predators. (Information about frogs adapted from Victor, E. (1975) Science for the Elementary School, Third Ed., New York: Macmillan Publishing, p. 524-525.)

In this lesson, it is important that students learn how to jump safely and use this information during the jumping activity to prevent injuries. Demonstrate and explain the appropriate ways to jump carefully to the students.

Frog jump: The student will squat, with hands on the floor in front of the feet. The student will jump a short distance and land on the hands and feet simultaneously. The hands and arms absorb part of the landing impact to prevent excessive strain on the knees. The students should be frequently encouraged to consider personal estimates and actual measures in order to discourage aspects of competition in jumping.

Standing jump: The student will bend legs at knees, jump by taking off with both feet, swing arms forward upon takeoff, and will land on both feet. The arms help with an upswing and the movement of the body combined with the force of the feet helps lift the weight. A jumper lands lightly on the balls of the feet with the knees bent. (Information adapted from Dauer, V. P. & Pangrazi. (1989). Dynamic Physical Education For Elementary School Children. New York: Macmillan, p. 281, 282, 448.)

Segments from two ITV programs are used in this lesson. Reading Rainbow is used as an anticipatory set to create interest in frogs. The Magic School Bus segment is used to help students focus on how frogs can jump. Since one of the purposes of using the first video is to discover the animal and what it can do, there are no pre-viewing activities.

CUE the Reading Rainbow video to the point after the book reading segment and LeVar has been to a market to examine fruits and vegetables on sale there. BEGIN the video as LeVar says, "Some of the fruit here is pretty wild. But it's not only the wild life here on Monserrat. Meet me tonight up in the mountains and I'll show you what I mean." PAUSE after LeVar says, "Ssh! We're out here trying to catch mountain chickens. You gotta be quick. But they're usually quicker." Ask, "Where is LeVar?" (in the mountains, a place with lots of trees, dark) Ask, "What is LeVar looking for?" (mountain chickens) Ask, "What do you think mountain chickens are?" (Students may make various guesses such as birds or chickens.)
Tell students to watch the next segment to see if they find a mountain chicken. RESUME the video to continue as LeVar and his guide are prowling in the dark. PAUSE as the hand reaches down before it picks up the frog. Ask, "Do you think they found something?" (yes) Ask, "What might he have found?" (a mountain chicken, a frog, others) Ask, "Why might it be hard to spot the mountain chicken?" (too dark, animal is camouflaged, its color makes it hard to see)
Tell students to watch the next segment to see what he caught. RESUME video and PAUSE where guide picks up frog and says, "LeVar, I got one. Come, you see it." Ask, "What did he catch?" (a mountain chicken, a frog)Tell students to watch the next segment to see if the frog is really a mountain chicken. RESUME video to continue through the examination of the frog's back. PAUSE where LeVar says, "One of the reasons they're so difficult to catch." Ask, "Is it a mountain chicken? (yes) Why do you think they call it that? (it lives in the mountains, people like to eat frogs' legs, some people say it tastes like chicken) [Note: These points are not discussed in the video, so the teacher may need to discuss these ideas with the students.]
Ask, "What is special about this frog?" (the eyes look fluorescent- they glow, the mouth can expand like a balloon to make sounds, the color of its back makes it hard to see)
Tell students the frog's legs help it to do something special. Tell students to watch the next segment to see what else is special about its legs. RESUME the video. PAUSE after LeVar says, "Stay right there, you guy." Ask, "What are the frog's legs like? (long, strong, funny toes) What can the frog do? (jump far) How can the frog jump far? (strong legs push him) How did LeVar say the frog felt? (slippery) Why do you think the frog felt slippery? (he was wet, rain, frogs like to be wet) What did LeVar say the toes look like?" (twigs from a tree)
Tell students that LeVar is going to put the frog down. Ask, "What do you think the frog will do?" (jump, hop away) Tell students to watch the next segment to see what the frog will do. RESUME the video. STOP the video where LeVar puts the frog on the ground and says, "There you go, guy." and the frog sits on the ground. Ask, "What did the frog do? (sat on the ground) Why do you think he didn't hop away? (he was scared, he was trying to hide)
What do you think of when someone mentions frogs? Jumping, of course. But how far can a frog jump? Tell students to think about how far frogs can jump as they watch a segment of The Magic School Bus Hops Home. EJECT the Reading Rainbow video and INSERT The Magic School Bus video.
Tell students to watch the first segment to see what the problem is. BEGIN The Magic School Bus video with the first appearance of the Magic School Bus. PAUSE after the bus shrinks and the cat first appears. Ask, "What is the problem? (the frog is missing) How will they find the missing frog? (by acting like a frog) What does the bus do? (turns into a frog, it shrinks, gets smaller) How big is the bus when it shrinks?" (about the size of a frog)
Tell students to watch to see how they will know where to go. RESUME video to continue as bus hops. PAUSEwhere Ralphie says, "Ms. Frizzle, do we have to hop?" Ask, "What did the bus hop over? (a fence) Do you think a frog could hop over a fence like that? (yes) Where might Bella the frog have gone? (to find food) What kind of food did they say Bella would like? (bugs) Where might they go to find bugs?" (outside, backyard, pond)
FAST FORWARD until the cat begins to stalk the bus. Tell students to watch the next segment to see where the bus goes. RESUME video and continue as the bus jumps into a tree. PAUSE as Carlos says, "It's just a little mishap." Ask, "Where did the bus hop? (into a tree) Do you think a frog could really hop that far?" (It's pretty high, but some frogs live in trees.)
FAST FORWARD past the jump out of the tree, past the fast moving water, past the heron and STOP the video where the beavers build a dam. Tell students to watch the next segment to see if Bella is there. RESUME video and continue as it shows the heron stalking the frog. PAUSE when the empty lily pad is shown and the children call, "Wanda!" Ask, "Where was Bella? (in a beaver pond) Why was she there? (slow moving water, food) Why did the frog disappear? (a heron was coming) What did the heron want? (to eat the frog) How did the frog get away from the heron?" (it hopped away)Tell students to watch the next segment to see if Bella and Wanda are OK. RESUME video. STOP the video after Ms. Frizzle says, "They're all part of the same food chain." Ask, "Why is the beaver pond a good place for Bella the frog to live? (It has food, slow moving water to swim in and lay eggs in, and space to hop.) What would the frog like to eat? (bugs) What did the frog do to catch a bug?" (hopped)
The students can use the Internet to access the Froggy Page at Yale University through http://www.cs.yale.edu/homes/sjl/froggy.html. Have the students use telecommunications to communicate the results of their jumping experiment and encourage others to try and send their results.Have students research to determine if any types of frogs are on the endangered species list. Why would these frogs be endangered? What can people do to change this?
Science: Bullfrogs eat bugs and herons eat bullfrogs. Frogs are part of a food chain. Have students research and create a picture to show the food chain mentioned briefly in The Magic School Bus Hops Home.
Writing: Create a word web to tell about frogs. Ask students to think of things they know about frogs. This information could come from the video or from their own knowledge and experiences. You may wish to collect the information about frogs by writing a web such as this on the blackboard or on a chart. This information can be used by students to write about frogs.
Mathematics: Have the students use a bar graph to compare the actual results of their best of each of the two types of jumps. Ask students to examine the graphs to help them make judgments about these two types of jumping. What other kinds of jumps might children make? Have the students determine another kind of jump and estimate, jump, record, graph, and compare these results to those from the first two types. What does this new information help us to understand about jumping?
Health: Jumping can be good exercise. Have students experiment with other types of jumps, such as the long jump or the triple jump. Which kind of jump helps students jump farther?