Lesson Plan

Spotted Salamanders (First Grade)

A Spotted Salamander laying eggs
A Spotted Salamander laying eggs
Photo from Tom Mann


The students will learn that spotted salamanders live in our neighborhoods and along the Natchez Trace Parkway. They are very pretty but taste terrible if another animal tries to eat them. Explain to the students that scientists study the salamanders to learn all about their lives.  Students will read the attached student reading and correctly sequence the chronological or mixed up life stages sheet.


Enduring Understanding: Spotted salamanders have several life cycles.

Essential Question: How are salamanders born (live or egg)?

The students will be able to:

1) Correctly color a picture of spotted salamander life stages and number

2) number salamander life stages in the correct sequence.


Spotted Salamanders like most other amphibians lay their eggs in water and live their adult lives on land. Salamanders and lizards are basically different because salamanders lay eggs in water and juveniles metamorphose and lizards lay eggs on land and juveniles are precocious. See teacher information sheet.


1.) Spotted Salamander Life Stages Worksheet

2.) Spotted Salamander Life Stages Answer Sheet

3.) Spotted Salamander Life Stage Quiz

4.) Spotted Salamander Description

5.) Teacher Information Sheet

6.) Photos of spotted salamanders (Recommended website: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Wildlife/Nongame/salamanders/spotted_sal.htm)

7.) Colored Pencils


Student Task: Discuss the reading with the students and then have the students look at the life stages worksheet. Ask the students which stage is first. Have them label the life stages with numbers or with descriptive words.

Student Instruction:

1.) Students will read or listen to the Spotted Salamander reading.

2.) Students will look at drawings of the life stages of a salamander and label the stages of in the correct order.

Teacher Closure: Tell students that salamanders are similar to frogs because frog lay eggs in the water too. Ask the students if they have ever seen tadpoles.


Participation in discussion. Assess if the students filled out the life stages sheet correctly.

Park Connections

The Natchez Trace Parkway has spotted salamander populations.


The teacher may introduce the students to the concept that the salamanders have trouble crossing the roads. They do not know to look both ways before they cross the street.