Teaching Life Science with Children’s Literature: Toad by the Road


Toad by the Road, written by Joanne Ryder and illustrated by Maggie Kneen, is a fun way to introduce students to the life of toads.  The books is compiled of several poems about toads.  Depending on what the topic of the poem is, there is a corresponding fact about toads at the bottom of the page.  The poems are also written in seasonal order (starting with spring and going in chronological order until it is spring again).
An example of one of the poems:

“In the rain
Others hide,
But I’m
Quite pleased
To sit outside
In a little
Mossy rut-
Eyes open,
Mouth shut.
Here I drink
The rain within,
Clear drops
Through my skin”

The book has several great poems, like this one, that provide for a nonfictional but fun way to discuss habits and life cycles of a particular amphibians.

Curriculum Connections
This book will fit in great for a fourth grade curriculum.  The students will be focused on understanding different life cycles, habitats, behavioral adaptations, and ecosystems.

Additional Resources
1.  This website offers a lesson plan complete with activities on the distinguishing the difference between frogs and toads.
2.  This website is full of different worksheets, activities, quizzes, and just fun facts about all different kinds of amphibians.
3.  Enchanted Learning gives several different reproducables on frogs and other amphibians which would be helpful in the classroom.

General Information:
Book: Toad by the Road
Author: Joanne Ryder
Illustrator: Maggie Kneen
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co
Publication Date: April 2007
Pages: 40 pages
Grade range: 3-4 grades
ISBN: 080507354X

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