Frog or Toad? How Can You Tell?

Frog or Toad? How Can You Tell? lesson plan

What is that hopping creature? Learn about these two fascinating amphibians while comparing and contrasting their attributes.

  • 1.

    What are the differences between frogs and toads? How are they the same? Different? Work in two teams to find out more. One team researches frogs while the other investigates toads. Use Crayola Colored Pencils to take notes and make sketches about what you learn. Look closely at photographs (or, if possible, real frogs and real toads) to see physical features. Find out about their internal body structures, habitats, life cycles, breeding habits, and how they eat, move, and survive.

  • 2.

    Turn your research into a list of words and phrases describing your amphibian. Use Crayola Dry-Erase Markers to make a colorful list on a dry- erase board. Write the name of your amphibian at the top of your list.

  • 3.

    Next use dry-erase markers to make a duplicate list of the same attributes, but this time write the name of the other team’s amphibian at the top of the list.

  • 4.

    Now trade lists. The frog team will work with the toad team’s "frog" list of toad attributes. And the toad team will work with the frog team’s "toad" list of frog attributes. First erase all of the things on the list that you know for sure do not apply to your animal. Your team might have to do additional research to find out whether an attribute is or is not true about your amphibian. Make changes to the words and phrases on the list so it more accurately describes your amphibian.

  • 5.

    When both teams finish "correcting" the lists of attributes, compare all of the lists. What do frogs and toads have in common? What differences do you notice? What surprised you?


  • Students work in small groups to research physical, behavioral, and environmental attributes of frogs and toads to create lists of words and phrases describing their amphibians.
  • Students evaluate "false" lists of attributes to identify which are true for their amphibians.
  • Students compare and contrast attributes of frogs and toads.


  • Repeat this activity in smaller groups, comparing other similar animals such as alligators and crocodiles; butterflies and moths; birds and bats; hippopotamuses and rhinoceroses; or cheetahs, leopards, and jaguars.
  • Be the public relations team for frogs and toads in your community! Find out more about amphibian habitats in your region. Visit them as a class if possible. Work with your team to create a newsletter of articles about your amphibian. Speak out about enda
  • Assessment: Observe students as they work in groups to note participation and research skills. Evaluate each team’s original list of attributes for correctness. Assess the final results of the revised "false" list of attributes. Take notes on student learning in the culminating compare and contrast discussion.