Monster Frog Pond

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Read & Play , Read It Myself
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Zoller needs help! She needs Oona, Marluk, Tigga, and you to take care of her frogs in her pond while she’s away. She has five frogs altogether, and she expects to see five frogs when she gets back. Unfortunately, the frogs have other plans; some hop away, while new frogs parachute in. If there are five frogs, and two more hop into the pond, how many frogs do you have now? Read along to discover the unique ways the frogs come and go, and help the monsters practice different ways to count, add, and subtract to keep track of the frogs. Will there be five frogs when Zoller comes home?

Learning Concepts

Counting , Numerals , Addition/Subtraction (informal or formal, altogether, total, sum, difference, how many left) , Problem Solving

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Full Text

One Saturday afternoon as Oona, Marluk, and Tigga were playing, the phone rang. “I’ll get it! Hello. Monster residence. How may I help you?”
“Oh hi, Zoller! Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Of course. We would love to help. We will be right there.”
“What is it, Oona?”
“What does Zoller need help with?”
“She didn’t say. She just said she needed help at her house immediately.” And with that the three monsters headed over to Zoller’s house.

When Oona, Marluk, and Tigga arrived, they saw Zoller standing in her yard by a great big pond.
“Oh good, you’re here!” Zoller said when she saw them. “I have to leave for the day, and I want you to take care of my frogs. There are one, two, three, four, five here now, and I want to see one, two, three, four, five when I get back—no more, no less. See what my sign says? Five frogs. Five fine, fantastic, funny, friendly frogs.

“Goodbye, my beauties.”
“These frogs aren’t so hard to take care of.”
Ribbit! Ribbit!
“Um, did anyone see the five frogs’ mouths move?”
“I didn’t see anything.”
Ribbit! Ribbit!
“Oh! Then where did those ribbits come from?”
“Oh, look! That’s where the sound came from. Two more frogs!”
“Ahhh ahhh ah!”
“Wait a minute, we have a problem. Zoller said five frogs—no more, no less—but now we have two more than five.
Let’s think. How many are there now?

“We’d better count the frogs to make sure.”

“We have seven frogs! But Zoller told us to take care of five. Oh! What should we do?”
“Hey, frog, where are you going? Seriously, where are you going? Oh no!”
“Well, we had seven frogs, but one hopped away. How many do we have now?”

“Six frogs?”
“Let’s check.”

“We have six frogs altogether.”
“Ahhh! They all jumped into the water! What are we going to do?”
“Don’t worry. We can still keep track of them. See?”
“Oh yeah, we can.”
Ribbit! Ribbit!
“Oh no! Now what?”
Ribbit! Ribbit!
Oona, Tigga, and Marluk looked up at the sky just in time to see two frogs wearing parachutes floating down towards the pond.
“It’s a frog frenzy!” Oona said, giggling.
“I don’t want a frenzy. I want five frogs!”
“We had six, and there are two more! Now how many?”
“A bagillion-million!”
“Oona, that’s not even a number. We have to add six plus two.”

“Eight frogs. How can we be sure?”
“Oh! Oh! Let’s put them on these lily pads so we can count them.”
“Great idea, Oona!”
“There are a lot of frogs. I’m going to need your help.”

“We have eight frogs. That’s more than five. Zoller said we need five frogs—no more, no less.”
“Well, at least we can see them.”
“I don’t even want to look . . . they’re back in the water, aren’t they?”
“Yep, only this time they are all the way under.”
“It’s OK, Marluk. There are still eight frogs. Only now we can’t see them because they’re under the water.”
“Oh brother.”
“They just drove away. You saw that too right?”
“Well, we had eight frogs, but two just drove away. What number should we put on the sign?”

“There are six frogs under the water . . . because those other two drove away, right?”
“That sounds right, but we’d better check.”
“But how? They’re underwater.”
“How about this net? Let’s use it to pull them out and put them back on the lily pads.”
“Great idea, Oona!”

“Six frogs. Hey, wait, six frogs? But we need five.”
“Let me think. We need to get rid of how many? One! We just have to get rid of one frog before Zoller gets back.”
“How do we get rid of one frog?”
Oona had an idea. “Let’s scare one away. Let’s say BOO at the count of three. Ready? One, two, three . . .”
“There one goes! Bye, froggie!”
“We need to change our sign. We had six frogs, and then we scared one away. How many do we have now?”

“We finally have five frogs for Zoller.”
“Hello, my froggie beauties!”
“Zoller! You’re back! You’re back! Oh man, taking care of your frogs was exhausting. Zoller! How do you do it?”
“Yeah, Zoller, your frogs kept us hopping!”
“But it was also quite enjoyable.”
“Glad to hear it. Thank you, monsters, for taking such good care of my frogs. Frogs, let’s thank our friends properly.”
“Uh . . . Zoller? Two of your frogs just hopped away.”
“Oh, did they? They’re always doing that! Get back here, you!”
“Oh, hehehehe, we should have tried that. Haha haha. I can’t whistle.”

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  • Written by: Amy Kraft
  • Script Edited by: Sarah Haines
  • Illustrated by: Ilana Exelby
  • Based on a Concept by: Herbert P. Ginsburg, Ph.D
  • Executive Producer: Herbert P. Ginsburg, Ph.D
  • Supervising Producer: Samantha Creighan, Ph.D
  • Music and Audio Directed and Produced by: Christopher Cerf
  • Sound Design, Audio Recording, & Mixing by: Matt Longoria, Beatstreet Productions


  • Oona and Zoller Controller: Jennifer Barnhart
  • Tigga: Tyler Bunch
  • Marluk and Narrator: Peter Linz
  • Frog Ensemble: Jennifer Barnhart, Tyler Bunch, and Peter Linz

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Teachers College - Sirius - HSF

Copyright © 2015 Teachers College, Columbia University Special Thanks to Joe Franco, Harold Moss, Eileen Hawly Nigro, Kimberly Brenneman, Linda Platas, Neal Shenoy, Carla Seal-Wanner, Dr. Alice Wilder, Christina Zagarino, Delphine Henault, and Michael DeMarchis