the Classroom Duck
by Susan Clymer
Literature Ladder by Kathleen Ward-Bowen
This supplemental unit to Scrawny, the Classroom Duck was developed as part of the Rhode Island Teachers and Technology Initiative in the summer of 2000.
This unit provides Internet resources for grades 3-5. Students will explore relationships, animal behaviors and wetland habitats. During these activities, the students will write a persuasive essay, design manual for duckling care with Kidpix Slide Show, write a comparison paragraph and present a habitat poster to other group members.
As students complete these CyberGuide activities, they will explore the following:
bird behavior, incubation and imprinting
friendships and sharing
In their study of the book Scrawny,
students learn that John Frederick Felix Elijah Forrest, the new kid in
school doesn't much care for his name. When the class project on duck incubation
doesn't go as expected, the results prove both exciting and sad. Scrawny
changes John's life both in and out of the classroom. John and his
classmates are forced to confront difficult issues that will change some
of them forever.
Language Arts Content Standards
During this unit, the students will meet the following National Performance Standards;
Reading- E1a, E1b, E1c
Writing-E2a, E2b, E2c
Speaking-E3a, E3b, E3c
Each of the activities in this CyberGuide on Scrawny, the Classroom Duck may be done separately. Each activity stands alone and may be considered an autonomous activity. Scrawny should be read prior to completing the activities. It would be helpful if participating students had a copy of the book as a reference.
Description of Materials,
Activities and Web sites
- class set of Scrawny, the Classroom Duck
-at least one computer with printer, linked to the Internet and access to KidPix
-crayons, paints, poster paper, writing paper
Student Activity 1: Writing a letter
After having read Scrawny, the Classroom Duck, the students will view several sites on hatching and raising ducklings and write a persuasive letter convincing either their teacher, Ms. Saunders or their principal, Ms. Lacksbury, why they should be able to keep Scrawny as the classroom pet.
What do you know about a mallard?
of the World
Student Activity 2: Kidpix Slide Show
After viewing the sites below, put a Kidpix Slide Show together on how to care for baby ducklings. Your show should consist on 6-10 slides.
What to do when you find a baby duckling
the baby bird really an orphan?
Student Activity 3: Determining Accuracy
activity focuses on the student's ability to determine the accuracy of
the author's description of mallards. After viewing the sites below,
the students will write a two paragraph essay comparing the description
of a female mallard in the book to scientific information below.
Is Susan Clymer's information accurate? How can you tell? Print
out a compare and contrast organizer, if they need it. (It's the
All About Mallard Ducks
Learn More About Mallard Ducks
More on Mallards
Compare and Contrast organizer
Student Activity 4: Where to now?
this activity, the students research and decide what park Scrawny could
be released to in Rhode Island. What park would meet her special
habitat needs? The students will design a poster with a map
and report to members of the class about their selected site.
Maps of Rhode Island Parks
History of Rhode Island Parks
are the Wetlands in Rhode Island?