Developed by:Nosy Crow
I am a HUGE supporter of Nosy Crow apps. They do such a fantastic job of merging technology and literacy, and the Franklin Frog app is a true testament to that. Combining a narrative, nonfiction text with meaningful interactivity, Franklin Frog is a total win in my book.
Prepare to use the app by introducing one of these activities:
Jammin’ with Frogs
Little children love to sing. Luckily, we came across a great song about frogs sung by the world famous Raffi entitled, “Five Green and Speckled Frogs”. Warning: It’s catchy! You may also be interested in downloading the illustrated lyrics here as a visual-auditory connection. Not really a Raffi fan? No worries. Check out this Frog Finger Play called, “Croak, Said the Frog.” We love this one because it gets kids moving!
A circular text is a story technique where an author begins and ends the story in the same way. For instance, this app starts with the story of Franklin (sitting on a lily pad), goes through the life cycle of a frog, and ends with Fraser, Franklin’s son (also sitting on a lily pad). Then the same cycle repeats with Fraser. This circular text technique is taught in many schools as a “writer’s craft”. Writer’s crafts speak to the art of writing and the intentional choices that writers incorporate to keep their readers interested. Point out this writing craft to your child. Kids love it because it is pretty easy to identify the beginning and end of stories. Build upon this experience with other circular texts:
This is the Sunflower by Lola M. Schaefer
This is the Rain by Lola M. Schaefer
Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant
Every Autumn Comes the Bear by Jim Arnosky
Help your child get the most out of an app experience by trying the following activities:
This app invites users to become part of the action. Encourage your child to pay close attention to the narration, which prompts the reader with direct questions: “Can you help me catch that worm?” “Can you try to keep the fish away from my eggs?” This interactivity gets users involved, thus enhancing story engagement and comprehension.
Artwork with Circles
Every visual element in this app is either a circle or a division of circles. Don’t believe me? Check it out. I’ll wait. See? Awesome, right? Point this design element out to your child. Ask him/her to identify the circular element on each page. Then, if your child is feeling inspired, check out Ben Heine’s art; he calls the technique “digital circlism”. Heine takes it to a whole different level.
Extend the app experience with a real life activity:
Math and frogs? Absolutely! Print out ten of these lily pads on card stock and write the numbers 1-10 on top (one number per lily pad). For younger learners, draw circles on each lily pad that link to its respective number. To reinforce number sense and 1-to-1 correspondence, have your child place the proper number of objects on each lily pad. I like using frog counters to keep with the theme (these are free; these are more durable). Encourage your child to count out loud as s/he places each frog on the lily pad.
Hop to It
Little learners love to leap. (Say that quickly five times!) A game of Leap Frog is a great way to get moving. You’ll need at least two people. Crouch down and form a line with a body space in between each person. The person at the back of the line then leaps over the person in front of him/her, shouting, “Ribbit!” Repeat. This classic game strengthens visual perception, coordination, and fine motor skills.
Every year, a wonderful kindergarten teacher in my school grows tadpoles as part of a life cycle/science unit. It’s amazing to watch tadpoles transform into water frogs right in front of your own eyes! Knowing that my own budding scientists would love the experience, I purchased tadpoles from this website. (Your local pet store may also carry them.) I had my children create a frog journal out of folded blank paper and draw what the amphibian looked like from day one to day thirty. Since the fully-grown frog lives in water, we are still able to enjoy it as a pet well after observing its fascinating transformation.