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How to Take Care of Tadpoles in the Classroom

written by: JenniferB • edited by: Wendy Finn • updated: 1/5/2012

In many of my high school biology classes, we will raise our own frogs from tadpoles to adults! Not only is this a hands-on learning experience for the kids, frogs are cute and fun too. Learn how to care for your own classroom frogs.

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    Frogs are Fun

    Frogs make a great learning tool in the classroom for a number of reasons. First, they are easily obtained and relatively inexpensive from a biological supply company. If you have the time and local resources, you can also take a field trip and collect your own frogs to keep in the classroom (pending local animal collection regulations). Also, frogs offer a relatively quick development from egg to tadpole to adult, allowing students to observe the progression of life stages.

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    Caring for Your Frogs

    Before we can begin the lesson, it's important to know how to care for a tadpole and adult frog. The following is a basic care guide for keeping frogs and tadpoles in the classroom. Remember to get permission or notify your cleaning staff of your new classroom companions.

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    Taking care of tadpoles

    1. First you'll need a suitable container, like an aquarium or fishbowl. Choose a container that will be easy to keep in the classroom.

    2. Tadpoles need fresh, clean water. If you take the water from a local stream, creek or pond, be sure that it’s polluted. If using tap water, let it stand exposed to sunlight for one week. This will allow the chlorine to be removed by evaporation. Even a little chlorine is can be deadly to tadpoles.

    3. What do tadpoles eat? Fish flakes or aphids from a pet store.

    4. The length of frog development from egg to tadpole to frog usually takes between six to 12 weeks. Development is temperature dependant, so be sure the temperature is regulated in your classroom.

    5. At this point, if they aren't big enough to eat crickets but are too large to eat fish flakes, you can give them small insects. A good substitute is bloodworms, which are usually found in pet stores that carry fish. You can try feeding them to the frogs by taking the lid of a jar and turning it upside down. Fill the cap with a bit of warm water and lay a bunch of the worms in and allow the frogs will find them. Or you can put the worms directly into their water.

    6. Young frogs will need a lot of ground cover to hide as well as structure to play in.

    7. Make sure that you teach your students how to properly handle, care and most importantly, how to respect their new froggy friends!