Make Way for Ducklings

McCloskey's book Make Way for Ducklings (1941).

My husband picked up this book, “Make Way for Ducklings” from my basketful of library books. His first remark was, “Are you sure Hannah will read this?”

I wasn’t sure if I should nod or shake my head.  I wasn’t sure either.  It was a much longer read and the illustrations were in shades of brown.  I might sound shallow but I would very much be attracted to pretty colors if I were a two-year old (and even at my age).

Nevertheless, I borrowed this book, taking into account that this is one of the featured books in Five in a Row and was awarded the Caldecott Medal.

I gingerly waited for Hannah’s reaction as she flipped the book.  She closed the book, scanned through other books and returned to this book.  Hannah looked at me and pointed to the words, signaling me to read it to her.  I looked at my husband, and gave a smile.

As we turned each page, we were magically transported to the 1940s.  Hannah related to the ducks, as she lovingly called out their names, “Mr and Mrs Mallard” every time she wants to read the book.

I didn’t prepare many activities for this book of the week.  We simply read other duck related books and made a lap book using Five in a Row’s resources.

English: Pair of Mallard ducks, Berounka, Czec...
Pair of Mallard ducks, Berounka, Czech republic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are what we have learned:

1. Parts of a duck
We learned the different parts of a duck like its bill, webbed feet and feathers.

2. Differences between a male and female mallard duck
Male ducks are called drakes.  They are more brightly colored than the females. The female ducks are brown.  Its coloring helps her hide from predators and protects her nest.

3. Feeding
Mallard ducks eat mainly seeds, grass, pond weeds and other water plants.  They sometimes eat snails, insects and small fish.  When the ducks push their heads right under the surface to eat water plants and snails, it is called “upending”.

Upending (Photo credit: quinet)

4. Birth
The female mallard lays 5 to 14 eggs in a nest on the ground near the water.  She builds her nest in an area with lots of plants to hide it from predators.  The ducklings hatch after 21 to 30 days later.  They are able to walk and swim soon after hatching.

Other duck related activities

Every now and then, we would sing along to “Six Little Ducks” and counted the number of ducklings in the book.

We also learned how to waddle like a duck.  Usually, this happens after her bath.  I’ll wrap Hannah with the towel and we’ll waddle to her bedroom.

We read other duck stories like “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Clever Duckling” (in Mandarin).  “Just Ducks” by Nicola Davies is another informative and fun story to read along.


I’m sure we’ll be reading the book, “Make Way for Ducklings” soon, and this time, I’ll have the activity packs ready 🙂

Related activities:


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Dawn @ Homeschool Crafts

Mom. Blogger. Homeschooler.

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