Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey

            Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are looking for the perfect place to raise their family.  As they search for the perfect place, they run across dangers.  Will they find their perfect place?  Where will it be?

Materials

  • Copy of small ducks
  • 1 white paper plate per child.  Fold in half and punch holes along the edge. 
  • Yarn
  • Duck head/foot
  • Index card showing a letter from the letters the children’s names begin with.

Vocabulary

  • Dither (nervous and upset)
  • Hatch (when the ducklings come out of their shells)

Before Reading the Story

            Read the title of the book but don’t show the cover yet.  Ask the children if they think they know what Make way for ducklings means?  Now show them the cover of the book and ask them if they know now?  (get out of the way, move over, step aside, back up).  Why do you think the story is called, make way for ducklings?   Tell the children that this is a real story about a family of ducks who lived in Boston Gardens.

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; uses an increasingly complex and varied spoken vocabulary.

Reading the Story

            As you read the story stop at spots that tell about why the ducks think it is a good place to raise a family? Make note about ducks need food and shelter.  When you get to the spots where it is unsafe, ask the children why they think it is unsafe for a duck?  Is it unsafe for people too?   

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; builds awareness and ability to follow basic health and safety rules such as fire safety, traffic and pedestrian safety, and responding to potentially harmful objects, substances, and activities.      

After Reading the Story

Ask the children if they can change their name so it ends with “ack” by putting their first letter in front of “ack”. Mary=Mack, Alison=Aack. then repeat their name saying, “quack, quack, quack ______ack” and let the children quack for a few seconds.

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; shows growing awareness of beginning and ending sounds in words.

Discovery

            Put several of the small ducks into the center.  Show the children how to play hide and seek duck in the center.  One child steps outside the center and hides his/her eyes.  The other children in the center can each hide a duck somewhere in among the science toys.  The child comes back into the center and looks for the ducks.  When he/she finds a duck, the child who hid it quacks.  Who ever hid the last duck found gets to be the hider.

Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; shows capacity to maintain concentration over time on task, question, set of directions or interactions, despite distractions and interruptions. AND Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing abilities to give and take in interactions; to taking turns in games and using materials; and to interact without being overly submissive or directive.

Music and Movement

            When you go to the playground today, waddle like ducks all in a line.

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; participates actively in games, outdoor play, and other forms of exercise that enhance physical fitness.

            Teach the children the song 5 Little Ducks Went Out To Play. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZw9veQ76fo

5 Little ducks went out one play,

Over the hills and far away.

Mother duck said “Quack, quack, quack”

But only 4 little ducks came running back.

Continue on to 4, 3, 2, 1.  When you get to zero sing or say sadly;

Zero little ducks went out to play,

Over the hills and far away.

Mother duck said “QUACK, QUACK, QUACK”

5 little ducks came running back.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.

Blocks

            Tell the children that the story took place in a city.  Can you build a city?  Don’t forget to add a pond for the ducks!

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates growing abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story. AND Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; demonstrates increasing ability to set goals and develop and follow through.

Art

            Ask the children to draw a picture of some place that would NOT be good for a duck to live (under the bed, in a car, on the house roof).  After they have drawn their picture give them a copy of a duck to glue on their picture.  You can make this into a book called, Ducks in Unexpected Places.

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem. AND Literacy/Early Writing; begins to represent stories and experiences through pictures, dictation, and in play.

Sand and Water

            Water play today.  Add boats and ducks.  If you have no boats or ducks, use plastic lids or bowls.  You can also add bear counters or similar.  How many bears can float on your boat?

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to make use of one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects. AND Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building wit blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads, and using scissors.

Library and Writing

            Tell the children that Mrs. Mallard had to know how to get to the island to meet her husband.   Ask the children to tell you how to get to the playground from your classroom and then encourage them to draw a map.  (You go to the door and go out over there by the drinking fountain.  Then you got to go out that door and down the ramp.  You turn and walk, walk, walk past the baby room and then turn there.  You go to the gate and wait for the teacher to open it.  Then you are at the playground).

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; develops growing abilities to collect, describe, and record information through a variety of means, including discussions, drawings, maps, and charts. AND Language/Speaking & Communicating; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, feelings, opinions, needs, questions; and for other varied purposes.

Dramatic Play

            The ducks ate peanuts at the park.  Ask the children, Have you ever taken a picnic to the park?  Pack a picnic lunch.  Use a basket or bag to put your picnic in. Put down a towel or blanket and the children can pretend to have a picnic in the center today.

Creative Arts/Dramatic PLay; participates in a variety of dramatic play activities that become more extended and complex.

Math and Manipulatives

            Show the children how to use the yarn to lace through the holes on the paper plate.  This will be the duck body.  Either pre-cut a head and feet for the children or put on manila file so they can trace and cut out themselves.  Put the head and feet onto the duck body.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads, and using scissors.

Outdoor Play

            Teach the children the game, In the Pond, On the Bank.  Tell the children that this is a listening game. Use a sidewalk or line as the divider.  Call out “In the pond” and everybody jumps onto the sidewalk.  Call “On the bank” and everybody jumps to the grass.  Mix up your calls and try to trick the children into jumping onto the wrong one. 

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multiple-step directions. AND Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; participates actively in games, outdoor play, and other forms of exercise that enhance physical fitness.

Transitions

Hold up an index card with a letter written upon it. Ask the children if they can name the letter, the letter sound, and whose name begins with this letter, and if any other child has this letter somewhere in their name?

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; identifies att least 10 letters of the alphabet, especially those in their own name.

Jump, Frog, Jump! by Robert Kalan

            This is a build upon story.  Older children will be able to follow along with the verse.  In this story the frog is pursued by many predators who would like to eat him for lunch.  How will he ever stay safe?

Materials

  • Flannel pieces/fly, fish, jumping frog, snake, turtle, basket, boy
  • Frogs numbered 1-10
  • Jump frog jump path/maze page
  • Frog cycle cards
  • Cornstarch packing noodles (ask your director to save all packing noodles that come with children’s materials and check to see if they are cornstarch based.
  • Small aquarium net or other small net like tool.
  • Tiddlywinks or poker chips

Vocabulary

  • Carnivore (one who eats meat or animals)

Before Reading the Story

Hold up a picture of a pond and ask the children if anyone knows what this is? Ask the children if any of them have ever been to visit a pond? Allow the children to share their pond experiences. What did you see at the pond? Did you hear any animal sounds? Tell them that your story today takes place at a pond. Introduce the story.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

Reading the Story

            As you read, put up the flannel board pieces so the children can recall the chorus lines of this story.

Literacy/Early Writing; develops understanding that writing is a way of communicating for a variety of purposes. AND Language Development/Listening & Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.

After Reading the Story

            Talk about the sequence of events.  Why were the fish, the snake, and turtle chasing the frog? (They wanted to eat him).  Tell the children that the fish, the snake, and the turtle were all carnivores because carnivores eat meat or animals.  Ask them who else in the story was a carnivore? (the frog, he wanted to eat the fly.  And the boys are carnivores too although I doubt they wanted to eat the frog).

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

Discovery

            Bring in pictures of real frogs.  Talk about the frog’s appearance. ( frogs have smooth skin, frogs have strong back legs so they can jump, A frog has big eyes that sit on top of his head, frogs have webbed feet to help them be better swimmers, frogs must live near water, a frog has a long sticky tongue to catch insects for lunch).

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

            Make the frog cycle cards and encourage the children to put them into proper order.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; develops growing abilities to collect, describe, and record information through a variety of means, including discussion, drawings, maps, and charts.

Music and Movement

            Sing Mmm-ahh Went the Little Green Frog https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwU3beZ9kcw

Mmm-ahhh went the little green frog one day

Mmm-ahh went the little green frog.

Mmm-ahh went the little green frog  one day

And they all went went Mmm-ahh.

Language development/Speaking & Understanding; progresses in clarity of pronunciation and towards speaking in sentences of increasing length and grammatical complexity.

            Make about 10 of the large frogs.  Number them 1-10 and tape them to the floor touching front to back.  Make a lily pad by cutting out a circle and tape it to the floor in front of the number one frog.  Show the children how to do a standing long jump.  Let them see how far they can jump on the frog measuring tape.  Record their scores.

Mathematics/Patterns & measurement; shows progress in using standard and non-standard measures for length and area of objects.

Blocks

Ask the children to make a simple pond using the blocks. Then show them how to play tiddlywinks and flip the tiddlywink/chip into the pond. This takes practice to get the correct amount of pressure to fli[ the tiddlywink. (Put one tiddlywink/poker chip flat on the ground. Use the other to put pressure on the edge of the flattened one and pull back gently causing the flattened tiddlywink/poker chip to flip, hopefully into the pond.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer. AND Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; grows in abilities to persist in and complete a variety of tasks, activities, projects, and experiences.

Art

            Show the children the cover of the book and how the turtle is hiding within the pond grass.  Bring in cornstarch based packing noodles for the children to make 3 dimensional pond grass.  Put out a bowl with a little water in it.  Show the children how to dip the end of the noodle into the water (because it is a cornstarch base it will dissolve and the noodles will stick together).  Show the children how to dip and stick their noodles together to make a 3 dimensional shape.  When they are finished, let them dribble green paint over and it can be pond grass.

Creative Arts/Art; gains ability using different art media and materials in a variety if ways for creative expression and representation.

            Give the children long thin pieces of paper that are cut out to resemble snakes.  Let them use markers to decorate the snake.  Encourage them to add a pattern like the snake in the book. (I have used unifix cubes to make patterns for the children to follow).

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; enhances abilities to recognize, duplicate, and extend patterns using a variety of materials.

Library and Writing

            Make a copy of the Jump Frog Jump page.  Cover it with contact paper and let the children use a washable marker to follow the frog’s path.  When they are done they can wipe it off with a damp cloth for another child to use.

Literacy/Early Writing; experiments with a growing variety of writing tools and ,materials, such as pencils, crayons, and computer.

Sand and Water

            Add any small pond animals that you might have to the water table.  Put out Tupperware lids that the children can pretend are lily pads.  Let them use a small aquarium net to try to catch the animals/fish. How many fish did you catch? How many frogs fit on the lilly pad?

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to make use of one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.

Dramatic Play

Math and Manipulatives

Mark a frog pond onto the floor or use a hoolahoop. Mark a line about 5 feet from the pond. Give a child 5 beanbags to try to throw into the pond. (Tell the children that the beanbag is a pretend frog that must try to jump into the pond). How many ‘frogs’ made it into the pond? How many did not? For older children you can give them a piece of paper that they can graph their results (2 in and 3 out of the pond). Have the children take turns throwing the bean bags into the pond.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to use language to compare numbers of objects with terms such as more, less, greater than, fewer, equal to. AND Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; develops growing abilities to collect, describe, and record information through a variety of means, including discussion, drawings, maps, and charts.

Outdoor Play

            Play leap frog with the children.

Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency , control, and balance in walking, climbing, running, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.

Transitions

            As children go to the next activity sing or say;   Tell the children to crouch down on their haunches and listen for when their name is called.

Jeepers creepers look at all those leapers.

Jeepers creepers look at ____jump.

(The child named jumps off  and begin again with a different child)

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding simple and multiple-step directions.

Resources

for writing center
frog life cycle


Hyla (Peep) Crucifer, the story of the spring peeper frog, by Carol Cornelius

            This is a fiction book that talks of the Hyla frog, one that you might see near your home in the spring.  It gives information about frogs that you can easily share with the children.

Materials

  •  frog outlines
  •  Pictures of several animals using camouflage to hide.
  • 10 flies
  • Paper plates
  • Frog head
  • Tiddlywinks or poker chips
  • Green playdough and two googly eyes per child

Vocabulary

  • Drifted (to float)
  • Gills (as lungs are to people, gills are to fish)
  • Camouflage (a way that animals can hide from other animals by blending into their environment/their surroundings).

Before Reading the Story

            Cut out 1 inch squares from different colors of paper.  Cut out 2 per child.  Hide these about the room placing the colored square upon an object that is the same color.  When the children gather for rug tell them that you just learned a really big word that you want to teach them.  Tell them the word is “camouflage” and ask if anyone thinks they might know what it means?  Bring in some pictures of animals that are camouflaged and show them to the children.  Show the children several of the one inch squares that you cut out.  Tell them that you have hidden the squares around the room and they are camouflaged.  Remember that camouflaged means that they are hiding on a color just like them.  Let the children know that they are each to go and find one camouflaged square and bring it back to the rug.  As they bring them back, ask them what color they found and where they found it.

Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; grows in abilities to persist in and complete a variety of tasks and activities.

Reading the Story

            As you read, remind the children that a Hyla Peeper frog is really only about an inch long. Show them how small an inch is.  Ask them why they think the illustrator drew the frog so big? (So we could see him good)

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & problem-Solving; grows in recognizing and solving problems through active exploration, including trial and error, and interactions and discussions with peers and adults.

After Reading the Story

            Go back through the pages and ask the children to tell you what they remember about the Hyla frog and his life.  Use the book as a guide.  Write down the children’s responses and hang it on the wall with several of the children’s writing experiences.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; shows growing interest and involvement in listening to and discussing a variety of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

Discovery

            In the story, the tadpole used to breathe under the water like a fish but as he got older he started to breath through his lungs.  Have the children put their hands on their chest and breathe in and out, then feel their lungs fill up with air. 

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and respect for their bodies and the environment.

Music and movement;

            Sing Peep Peep Went the Little Green Frog https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=EbM70ouxrc8&list=RDAMVMEbM70ouxrc8

Peep, peep went the little green frog one day

Peep, peep went the little green frog.

Peep. Peep went the little green frog one day

And his eyes went peep, peep too.

            Do 5 Little Speckled Frogs.  Have the children hold up 5 fingers and then do the actions with the poem. https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=HhVi4IQRMtY&list=RDAMVMHhVi4IQRMtY

5 Little speckled frogs, sitting on a speckled log

Eating the most delicious bugs, yum, yum

One jumped into the pool, where it was nice and cool

Then there were 4 more speckled frogs

Glub, glub.

Creative Arts/Music; participates with increasing interest and enjoyment in a variety of music activities, including listening, singing, finger plays, games, and performances.

            Put a bunch of paper plates all over the floor.  Turn on some lively music and let the children become frogs and jump from leaf/plate to leaf (or lily pads).

Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency, control, and balance in walking, slimbing, running, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.

Blocks

            Have the children make a small pond with the blocks.  Give them tidily winks or poker chips and show them how to pop them to make them jump (take one and scrape across the edge of another that is lying on a flat surface.  It will jump!  Can you get them to jump into the pond?  

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.

Art

Give the children green play dough and googly eyes. Show them how to roll a ball of playdough to make the frog’s’ body. Give them googly eyes and encourage them to add legs and design to their bodies (I have given the children a straw to make ‘dots’ on the frog and a pencil to make ‘stripes’).

Creative Arts/Art; progresses in abilities to create drawings, paintings, models, and other art creations that are more detailed, creative, or realistic.

Library and Writing

            The hyla frog has an X on its back.  Give each child a copy of the page with the 6 frogs on it and ask them to draw an X on each frogs back.

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; shows progress in associating the names of letters with their shape and sound. AND Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multiple-step directions.

Sand and Water

            Water play, pouring and scooping.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads and using scissors.

Dramatic Play

            Have the children cut out the frog head and make a mask/hat out of it by attaching it to a sentence strip around their head.  The children can wear their frog heads as they hop and jump about the classroom to music.

Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations. AND Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads and using scissors.

Math and Manipulatives

            Play Flies for Lunch.  Cut out a set of flies per child and spread them out on the table.   Write the numbers 1-5 on the fly backs. Give each child a piece of contact paper 1 inch by 6 inches.  Show them how to flap their “sticky tongue” down on the table and pick up a fly.  Call out numbers and see if they can catch the correct fly.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.

Outdoor Play

            Have the children take turns getting into a crouching position and doing a frog leap.  Make a starting line and then mark the ground where they jump.  See who is the jumpiest frog.  Try having the children do standing long jumps and running broad jumps also.

Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency, control, and balance in walking, climbing, running, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.

Transitions

As the children move to the next activity have them do different kinds of hops or jumps. Can you hop on one foot to line up? Find a partner and jump to line up. Hop in a circle and then line up. Jump backwards to line up.

Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency, control, and balance in walking, climbing, running, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.

Resources

enlarge to use for dramatic play
write numbers on the backs of flies to use in manipulatives.
Give each child a page of 6 frogs to practice making the letter X on the backs
These frogs all camouflage into their pond environments