It’s a Froggy Life, the True Story of the Sierra Nevada Yellow Legged Frog

Have you ever wondered, “What can I do to help the Sierra Nevada Yellow Legged Frog survive?” If you haven’t, then let the Kindergarten crew at TEA tell you why you should.

The Sierra Nevada Yellow Legged Frog at home in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Throughout the “It’s a Froggy Life, The True Story of the Sierra Nevada Yellow Legged Frog” learning expedition, the students become experts on this endangered local frog species and learn the steps we can all take to help these frogs survive.

But before they become experts on the Sierra Nevada Yellow Legged Frog (SNYLF), they first learn how to think like real-life biologists. They learn what encompasses the living world around them, what a living thing is, and how it survives. They learn how watching and wondering about living things makes them a biologist. Through teachings from our very own expert on frogs, Miss Rosie, and lessons from visiting aquatic biologists from the U.S. Forest Service, students learn how to properly observe and record their findings.

With an understanding of the work biologists do, the students next dive deep into the amphibian world to become herpetologists. Students learn how the SNYLF breathes, eats, moves, and reproduces in its native Tahoe habitat. They also learn what threats the SNYLF is facing as well as how that threat is connected to endangered frog species around the world. Students are introduced to other frog species to expand their wonder of the species and why we must protect them. They also dive deep into understanding how and why animals have gone extinct in the past and how and why animals are currently becoming endangered species.

TEA Students visited UC Berkeley to learn from real-life herpetologists.

Every week the budding biologists and herpetologists venture into nature to explore and look for frogs. These field studies foster connections and desires to take care of and respect the earth. From cross country ski adventures to the Frog Bog in Tahoe City to overnight trips to Stinson Beach and UC Berkeley, students learn directly from real-life experts about how these living things are connected to a bigger picture of stewardship.

As a culmination to this learning expedition, students create a field guide titled “How to Find a Frog: Field Work Skills and Practices for the Young Herpetologist.” These guides are given out to children at the annual Native Species Festival in South Lake Tahoe. This guide will help children understand the importance of taking care of the Earth by taking care of our amphibians. It teaches the reader how to use their bodies (e.g. walk carefully and slowly) in potential amphibian habitats, clues to finding frogs, identifying frogs and other amphibians, what to do if you find a frog, what to do if you find an endangered frog, frog “call” meanings, and how and why we should save frogs around the world. After you read this field guide, we guarantee you will start asking yourself, “What can I do to help the SNYLF survive?”

For more information on the annual Native Species Festival in South Lake Tahoe, contact Jean Norman at (530) 543-2694 or visit this website.


Stinson Beach serves as a jumping off point for numerous learning adventures at Tahoe Expedition Academy.
While on a trip to the Stinson Beach area, TEA Kindergarten students learned about other species of frogs.
TEA Kindergarten students experience hands-on research of frog habitats on the Northern California Pacific Coast.
Can you see the frogs? Is this the kind of place you would live if you were a frog?
While on a visit to UC Berkeley, herpetologists show TEA Kindergarten students their research.
“If I was a frog, I’d DEFINITELY want to live in this pond!”

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