Frog School

play by Philippa Werry ,  illustrated by Amy Golbach

Learning intention: 

I am learning that successful cooperation with others in pair and group work depends on roles and collaborative patterns, for example, asking relevant questions, providing useful feedback and prompting and checking individual and group understanding, so that I can develop my ability of contributing to group work.  

Success criteria:  

  • I can identify elements that enable successful cooperation when teaching a new skill.  
  • I can collaborate with a peer/peers when deciding on a topic to teach.  
  • I can successfully teach a new skill to a peer/peers by following collaborative patterns such as, providing useful feedback and prompting and checking individual and group understanding.  
  • I can cooperate with others to learn a new skill by using strategies such as asking relevant questions.  

Read Frog School. Discuss what Professor Freshwater is planning to do (teach the frogs a lot of froggy tricks). Discuss what the other frogs decide when Professor Freshwater appears to have been eaten by a snake (they decide to teach the skills they already possess to each other).  

Teach the students how to construct a paper aeroplane following the steps on Dart Paper Airplane. As you work through the steps, discuss elements the teacher can do that support students with learning the skill. For example:  

  • breaking the skills down into small achievable steps 
  • checking students’ understanding as you teach 
  • inviting clarifying questions from students and responding the questions 
  • recapping on key ideas 

Display the list for students to refer to.  

Inform students that they will be preparing a skill to teach to their peers using the elements identified above to successfully communicate their ideas.  

Place students in pairs. Instruct them to think of a skill they might like to teach their peers. Alternatively, they might like to select an origami activity from Very Simple Origami For Kids and Easy Instructions. Some students may prefer using an activity from a previous issue of Countdown, such as How to Draw Birds from Issue 1, or explaining the recipe for Coconut Macaroons, from Issue 4, both from 2022.  

Allow time for students to prepare how they will teach their skill. Match pairs together.  

Teacher note: ensure when matching pairs together that you avoid matching two pairs who have both prepared teaching the same skill.  

Instruct students to take turns teaching their skill to the other pair. Remind students to refer to the ideas listed on the board to ensure successful communication of the necessary steps required when learning the skill. Tell the students whose turn it is to be taught the skill to ask clarifying questions when the other group is teaching.  


Rotate around the room, ensuring students are using successful cooperation strategies and offering advise where required. Once both pairs have had the opportunity to teach each other a skill, discuss how the strategies identified earlier supported the process. Encourage students to reflect on which cooperative skills they may need further work on mastering.