Ask the following oral True/False questions and have the student answer with the “Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down” game (Up=True,
Down=False) to pre-assess prior knowledge for this investigation:
● Frogs live in all Utah environments. (T)
● Toads can give you warts. (F)
● Frogs can leap farther than toads. (T)
● All frogs are nocturnal. (F)
● Toads have moist skin (F)
● Some toads live in Utah’s deserts (T)
● Toads must live near water. (F)
● Toads are poisonous. (T)
● Amphibians lay eggs. (T)
● Frogs have rough, dry skin. (F)
Frogs and toads are amazing! Have the student cut apart the Amphibian Information Cards
and read about the different amphibians
that live in Utah.
Have the student organize the cards in some way on the paper provided. Leave this direction open so that the activity allows for
some inquiry to take place. Tell the student to be prepared to explain their system of organization. The student can record this
system in their science journals.
Discuss the student's system. Display the chart.
Review the similarities and differences between frogs and toads. (Use the Characteristics of Frogs and Toads
chart as a reference,
but have students do this individually and copy information in their journals.) Allow time to adjust the organization of their cards if they
wish to change.
Review the concept of a dichotomous key. Tell the student, we are using a system that is used by scientists to communicate
information in a similar way so that all scientists understand the information. This system is called a dichotomous key. (The
word “dichotomy” means “division into two.” A dichotomous key reduces the task of identifying something into a series of questions
that are based on physical features. Each set of questions eliminates others, eventually leading to the name of the mystery item).