Friday, February 02, 2007

Duck for President

At last count there are ten candidates for President in 2008 from the Democratic Party alone. Why not let Duck throw his hat into the ring?

In the amusing Duck for President by Doreen Cronin, Duck gets tired of having to do chores around the farm and decides to hold an election to replace Farmer Brown. He rallies the support of his fellow farm animals and wins!!

Soon, he tires of the hard work of running a farm and runs for higher office again. And again. And again. Eventually - after running a campaign kissing babies and playing his sax on late night television - Duck wins the highest office in the land. PRESIDENT!!

We don't get to experience much of his presidency as Duck soon decides that this job is also a bit much and he retires to the farm to do his chores and write his autobiography. A presidential library can't be too far behind!!

I use this amusing story (with wonderful illustrations that adults will love) to teach about the structure of stories: beginning, middle, end. Students will be exposed to having to take notes for the ELA assessment from stories and this structure seems to help students to take better notes during the listening passage. Whether they take notes by drawing and adding text later or use text immediately - teaching students what to listen for seems to be the first step. I like to share various plot diagrams and story maps, as well as a modification of a basic Step Up to Writing organizer to help students make connections and predict what might happen next with teachers to assist with this process.

Oh! And the book fits nicely into Social Studies as well!! It takes students through the various levels of government and can serve as a nice springboard to elections and campaign activities. I ran into this very clever and funny blog that highlights Duck's campaign. After all, what is a campaign without a blog these days?!?!

If you'd like to see the story - check out this link to YouTube.

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