Lesson Plan

Spotted Salamanders (First Grade)

A Spotted Salamander laying eggs
A Spotted Salamander laying eggs

Photo from Tom Mann

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Grade Level:
First Grade
Biology: Animals
40 minutes
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
Science: 3, 3a, 3d


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



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.