RECOMMENDED GRADES: primary
Two students from Mission San Jose
High School wrote this story. It is about a young frog, Pacifica,
who learns about the terrible conditions of Mission Creek before
the creek was restored. This book is available on the internet as
an “Electronic Storybook” (http://msnucleus.org/membership/index.html).
Below is a written copy of the text. You may want to use the book
as an introduction of restoration and how important it is to think
of the water flow through a city and the affect it has on the
smaller creatures of a stream.
The following are
possible vocabulary words that may need more explanation for
students to fully understand the story.
Coir logs - Roll of coconut fiber, often
used in bioengineering systems to provide erosion control along a
stream bank, also helps to support the establishment of new
vegetation, especially willow stakes.
Erosion - Removal of soil particles by wind and water.
Eucalyptus tree - A tall tree, whose
outside bark peels and native to Australia. Arrived in California
in the 1800’s as a quick growing tree. It produces chemicals that
do not allow many native wildflowers and grasses to live in the
Lagoon - A body of water that is not
Meander - When a creek moves into a “s”
pattern, reflecting a slow down of water velocity.
Pacifica Frog – The name of the character
in “Through a Frog’s Eye” referring to the Pacific Chorus or Tree
Frog (Pseuacris regilla) which is found in Mission Creek.
Restoration - Bringing an area back to a
specific time (before humans lived in an area; before the ice age,
Rip-rap - A layer, facing, or protective
mound of stones, randomly placed to prevent erosion or scour at a
structure or embankment; also the stone so used.
Straw wattles - Temporary large, woven
mat made of straw, that is placed over a steep bank and to hold
back erosion and to act as a surface for seeding quick growing
wildflowers and grasses.
Sycamore tree - Grows along creek beds
and has a characteristic greenish-gray smooth bark. Native
sycamores have large tree lobed leaves.
Tule - This aquatic plant has long,
green reeds. Tules go dormant during the winter and grow rapidly
during the spring and summer. Native to California wetland areas.
Turkey vulture - A large bird with a
characteristic red-orange, naked, small head. The bird is a
scavenger that feeds on the meat of dead animals.
Webbed feet - An adaptation by
birds, amphibians, and reptiles that usually use the water for
swimming. Helps capture water to help propel more efficiently.
Story - Through a
Frog's Eye, by April Yang and Frances Kwong.