Frog Town Builds Hands-On Learning
and Understanding of Community
This kindergarten lesson gets teachers and parents involved to build a town designed to meet multiple needs.
Oct. 16, 2013 (TAMPA, Fla.) – A trip to Frog Town starts on sandy shores by turquoise water, winds past shops and boxy buildings and ends up at the twinkling lights of an airport runway.
Colorful, diverse and vibrant, Frog Town also is an example of careful planning. Kindergarten classes at Corbett Preparatory School of IDS immersed themselves in studying communities, culminating in the chance to build their own town that could meet all of its fictional residents’ needs.
The classroom unit “How We Organize Ourselves: Communities Work Together” helps children understand the variety of people and skills it takes to create a functioning community. Students compared and contrasted rural, suburban and urban communities and began to brainstorm words that included the wants and needs of the people who live and work in those areas.
That discussion formed the basis for Frog Town. Teachers created lists and charts to help the students organize their ideas and thoughts, and students began their research. Parent volunteers guided them through reading books and websites to gain information they would need to assemble Frog Town.
Working with teachers, parents and peers in small groups, students collaborated on and designed all elements of their community. They asked insightful and stimulating questions during the kindergarten lesson, made connections, solved problems, communicated with their team and reflected on the process.
The result was a creative, detailed, thoughtful community built mainly from recyclables that spanned the counters between the kindergarten rooms. Touring Frog Town reveals neighborhoods, a school, public safety buildings, sports complexes, retail, theme parks and more. A railroad and street connect the various zones. Egg carton staircases take the toy residents to second-stories, a pipe-cleaner roller coaster dominates Busch Gardens and a paper towel flagpole flies a flag at the school – naturally Corbett Prep.