Frog Called "Singapore Sam" Hops Into Lessons
by Jennifer Hudspeth
October 24, 2012 8:31 PM
Teachers are always looking for ways to make their lessons creative. When a first grade teacher from Worthington, Minnesota found out her niece was traveling to another country, she had the perfect idea. She sent a friend along for the ride. A stuffed frog named “Singapore Sam,” has become the center of their geography lessons as a special correspondent from Asia. We think Mrs. Johnson and Singapore Sam, are Someone You Should Know.
At St. Mary's Catholic School, hail Mary’s, the lords prayer, and rosary beads are a regular part of each school day and if you start to look around Mrs. Johnson's room, you'll notice frogs are everywhere. Not only are they the class mascot, but each week students look forward to a special treat.
Mrs. Johnson’s classroom yells, “Hi Missy!”
From halfway around the world Mrs. Johnson's niece, Melissa Saigh, joins the conversation. But she's not alone, students are eager to visit with the focus of their lesson, a frog named Singapore Sam.
A student asks, “How old is Singapore Sam?”
Melissa holds frog up to her ear and giggles, “He says he can't tell me.”
Mrs. Johnson says, “Here's another frog, from another country.”
Thru Skype, Melissa talks to students about Singapore Sam's adventures in Asia, and they take turns asking her questions about a country they're growing more familiar with.
Student asks, “Is there ice-cream there?”
From food, to animals, to transportation, Melissa and Singapore Sam provide plenty of answers, and give each child their undivided attention.
Melissa answers a question from a student saying, “Some people have cars, but a lot of people take buses and trains and taxis too. Good question!”
Mrs. Johnson says, “This is something that's outside of Worthington. Many of these kids are not going to leave Worthington, so this is a great experience that they can see another culture and how other people live.”
Melissa says, “Now they're getting to see it through the eyes of our little frog. It's just so different and it's unique and it's a great experience, I feel lucky... really, really lucky.”
With each visit from Melissa and Singapore Sam, the kids soak up more information.
Mrs. Johnson talks to her class and says, “It's so hot and we decided it's so hot because Singapore is located close to the...”
Her class yells, “Equator!”
All knowledge they've gained with the help of a frog who's hopped into their lessons, making this classroom excited to learn.
Melissa Saigh has spent the past 3 months in Singapore. She will be returning to the United States in the next 3 weeks and is already planning a trip to visit Mrs. Johnson’s classroom with Singapore Sam.