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
           wetland habitats
           friendships and sharing
           parent/child relationships
           pet care
           mapping skills

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

Implementation Overview
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?

           Ducks 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

     Is the baby bird really an orphan?

Student Activity 3:  Determining Accuracy

     This 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 last link)


     All About Mallard Ducks

     Learn More About Mallard Ducks

          More on  Mallards

          Compare and Contrast organizer

Student Activity 4:  Where to now?

     In 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

    Where are the Wetlands in Rhode Island?