Frogs and Toads

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11390

Don't jump to conclusions about frogs and toads! They have a lot in common but are different too. In this lesson, watch frogs eat in slow motion and learn how they grow up. Then, make a booklet!


Life Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • What is the difference between a frog and a toad?
  • They know; do you?

Frogs and toads are interesting amphibians. (Check out the Additional Resource in the right-hand sidebar to learn more about amphibians.)

They look very similar, but have some differences.

Look at the frog on the left and the toad on the right:

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  • Did you notice the frog's long legs, smooth skin, and green color? 
  • Did you notice the brown toad's bumpy skin and short legs?

Print out the Graphic Organizer – Venn Diagram, found in Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar, and use it to compare and contrast the frog and the toad.

  1. Write down some physical characteristics of the frog in one circle and the characteristics of the toad in the other circle.
  2. Then, write down some physical features toads and frogs have in common in the middle where the circles overlap.

On the frog side of your chart, you should have written that frogs have longer legs and smooth skin. On the toad side, you should have written that toads have bumpy skin and short legs.

Two things they have in common are their eyes are on the top of their head and they both have four legs.

Continue filling out your Graphic Organizer as you learn more facts about frogs and toads.


Frogs have longer legs for a reason. They use their long legs for hopping and swimming.

You are more likely to find frogs living near water than you are to find a toad living near the water. Frogs need to live near water to survive.

Frogs also have special pads on their toes that help them climb. You can find frogs hiding in trees, climbing up the wall of your home, or enjoying the sunshine while hanging out on a rock.

Another important thing to remember about frogs is their smooth, moist skin.

Check out these cool frogs below:

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Toads have shorter legs than frogs. They don't jump as much as frogs do. Toads hop or even try to run sometimes!

They are wider than most frogs. Their wide bodies make it much harder for their small legs to jump like a frog does. This is why they only do small hops. Toads also have bumpy, dry skin.

You are likely to see toads hopping through the forest or even in your backyard! Toads don't need to live by water like frogs do. Toads often live in moist environments. They need to get some type of moisture or their skin will dry out. They spend most of their time on land.

Check out some of the toads below:

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Frogs and toads have a lot in common.

  • Have you ever touched a frog or a toad?

If you did, you may have noticed that frogs and toads don't have fur, feathers, or scales. You might have also noticed frogs and toads do not have tails like most animals do.

One thing frogs and toads have in common with most animals is that they have lungs. They use their lungs to breathe. They can also breathe through their skin!

Both frogs and toads need to live near water or in a moist environment. If they lose too much water, their skin will dry out.


  • Did you know frogs have three eyelids?

They use their three eyelids to protect their eyes when they are in the water. Their special eyelids allow them to see underwater without hurting their eyes.

  • Wouldn't it be cool to see underwater?

Tell a parent or teacher what you would do if you could see underwater like a frog does.

frog swimming

  • What do you think frogs and toads use to catch their food?

That's right! They use their long, sticky tongue.

Frogs and toads both eat insects, arachnids, and worms. Frogs and toads usually don't have teeth, but some do! When a frog or toad catches its prey, it shoots out its sticky tongue, wraps it around its prey, then brings its tongue back in to eat its food.

Check out the frog eating in the Frogs eating in slow motion HD movie Northern Green Frog in my Garden Pond by FlyingYankee59 video below:

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Frogs and toads both reproduce in the same way. They find a mate, then they lay their eggs in water.

Toads need to lay their eggs in water because their babies (just like frog babies) start out as tadpoles. The eggs are covered by a jelly-like substance that keeps them safe. When the eggs hatch a small tadpole comes out.

This tadpole has no arms or legs. It only has a long tail and a head. This tadpole starts to grow legs. Then, the tail starts to disappear and, finally, it grows into a frog or a toad!

Check out the frog life cycle below!

frog life cycle

You learned a lot about frogs and toads!

  • What fact did you find most interesting?

Move on to the Got It? section to learn more about frogs and toads.

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