frogextrafoot2.jpg frogtail2.jpg

Amphibian Malformations & Declines Lesson

Prepared for a: Middle/ High School Field Biology Class
Christy Flugga (Schlangen)

Objectives of Lesson/Learner Objective:

Students will form a hypothesis and possible solution to the problem of anuran malformations using the scientific method in a problem based learning environment through their background research, experiments and presentations.

Anticipatory Set/Motivation/Snappy Launch:

Has anyone here seen a deformed frog? What do you think would make a frog deformed? I will start by introducing this issue to the class through pictures and videos of malformed frogs. Then I will ask them to reflect on their background knowledge to the causes of such effects. What Makes a frog a frog.pptx

Materials Needed/ Preparation:

  • Pencils
  • Paper
  • Worksheet
  • Teacher will provide all of the remaining necessary materials.
The students will be given the background definitions and concepts to start working on this assignment and will be given a to guide them through their discussions when working through the project. They will need writing utensils and paper. Student Packet.docx


I will pre-teach and familiarize my students with the following vocabulary:

1) Anuran- “an amphibian such as a frog or toad that does not have a tail as an adult and has long powerful hind
2) Ecology- “the study of the relationships between living organisms and their interactions with their natural or
developed environment”
3) Malformation- “variation from the usual structure or form of something, or an instance of this.”
4) Bio-indicators- “species used to monitor the health of an environment or ecosystem. They are any biological species or
group of species whose function, population, or status can be used to determine ecosystem or
environmental integrity.”
5) Ecosystem- “a localized group of interdependent organisms together with the environment that they inhabit and
depend on.”
6) Physiology- “the branch of biology that deals with the internal workings of living things, including functions such as
metabolism, respiration, and reproduction, rather than with their shape or structure.”
7) Life Cycle- “the series of changes of form and activity that a living organism undergoes from its beginning through
its development to sexual maturity.”


1) I will present this problem through a power point and will ask open ended leading questions.
2) I will review the information to the class with their worksheets.
3) I will split the class into 4 groups and have each group work together to design and test their hypothesis.
4) Each student will be required to fill out their own worksheet to show their knowledge of this lesson.
5) Everyone should be participating and giving ideas from what they learned in their groups.
6) I will be asking the why’s and how’s and help them figure out the answer.
7) Students will take notes to other ideas they may have during the open discussion and review.
8) I will provide the groups with possible causes for these problems and they will choose which ones to work on.
9) They will be active in testing their hypotheses.
10) Finding an answer for environmental issues is a lengthy process of trial and error.


There will be two separate parts to the assessment of this project. Both parts will be graded at the end of the project.

Peer Assessment Form:

Students will be expected to review their Peer’s and their own performance within their group and their participation with lab work. This is the form I will be providing to each student. Group Assessment.docx This will be worth 25% of the total grade.

Teacher Assessments:

I will use this Rubric to assess the student’s knowledge and know-how of the project. Rubric.docx This section will be worth 75% of their total grade.
  • Individual data charts, created by students, showing their lab work. 25%
  • Individual Research paper as outlined in the packet. 25%
  • Individual creation and presentation of a Power Point to the class show their understandings of the lesson.25%