Turn Reading a Children’s Book into a Lesson Plan

Review of Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel

What’s better than inspirng children’s curiosity? One way to do that is to read a children’s book to your charge then continue doing activities inspired by the book. Today, we hope our Weekly Trip to the Library for nannies and au pairs will inspire child care providers to take reading books to children to the next level — using lesson plans.

The activities we list after the book review below get increasingly more difficult for a child of any age or level.

One of the most popular children’s book series is Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel. The many facets of friendship are explored in the five short stories within Frog and Toad Are Friends. Each story alternates the principle action that is taking place between the two characters.
The stories begin with Frog’s attempts to coax reluctant Toad out of bed to enjoy Spring. When Frog is sick in the Summer Toad engages in a series of entertaining actions to think of a story to make Frog feel better. Whether looking for a button, waiting for a letter, or taking a swim, Frog and Toad demonstrate to the reader a mutually caring friendship. Frog and Toad Are Friends received a Caldecott Honor. (See below for fun activities to do after reading Frog and Toad Are Friends).

After reading the book share interesting facts about frogs and toads and focus on friendship with the children.

Activity One: Select and Color a Frog:

While reading Frog and Toad Are Friends children will see pictures of different frogs. Let them select a favorite picture of a frog and print a copy for the child to color by clicking here. This web site is appropriate for children going into Kindergarten to third grade.

Activity Two: Make an Origami Frog:

Print out the directions on how to make an origami jumping frog by clicking here.

Activity Three: Write a Friendly Letter:

Read Frog’s letter found on page 62. Just as Frog sent a letter to his friend Toad, have the child write a letter to their friend. Ask the child, “What makes a friend special?” Teach them how to write a letter.

Activity Four: Use Venn Diagrams to Describe Friends:

By third grade children will be using Venn Diagrams to help organize their thoughts before writing assignments in school. Venn Diagrams are useful for examining similarities and differences in characters and stories. This activity helps to organize similarities and differences visually. Draw a Venn Diagram, see how by clicking here.

Ask the child, “What is special about Frog and what is special about Toad?” Have the child write their ideas on a Venn Diagram comparing the similarities and differences of the two characters. Next, have the child draw a picture of a special friend and write what they like about the friend.

These ideas are inspired by the San Diego Office of Education and Linda Scott of CyberGuide


  1. Steph, can I kiss you? This is awesome. I love going to story time because the librarian always had crafts to do with the kids after reading the books. Now I can do that with the kids myself. Thanks for doing this. I'm thrilled.

  2. 🙂 I do lesson plans based on books all the time with young charges, while I can often come up with ideas I still will do the following.1. go to google2. type in the name of a storybook title followed by the word lesson plan or theme and you may be surprised to see the number of hits you will get from teacher sites, library sites, publisher sites, etc. AND, now at least one NANNY SITE. (Thanks Steph)3. keep in mind age of children, your spending allowance, etc. But also tuck ideas away for future reference because a lot of ideas can be swapped out for other books.

  3. Great stuff once again!

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