Duck on a Bike Storia Teaching Guide
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
Award-winning author and illustrator David Shannon charms young audiences with this richly illustrated quack-up of a tale! Duck discovers the joys of bike riding in the barnyard and shows off to the rest of the farm animals who, in turn, make their animal sounds and offer comments on Duck’s performance.
The story follows a repetitive structure as Duck rides by Cow, Sheep, Dog, Cat, Horse, Chicken, Goat, Pig, and Mouse. Then hilarious pandemonium breaks loose as Chicken rides a tricycle, Pig and Pig hop on a bicycle built for two, Goat munches on his bike’s basket, and Mouse hitches a ride on Duck’s handlebars.
In this tale filled with bright and cheerful illustrations, Duck discovers the joys of bike riding—and students will too!
Teaching the Book
Can a duck ride a bike? This duck can—and he can ride with no hands and even stand up on the seat! David Shannon’s Duck on a Bike delights young readers and provides an opportunity to teach students repetitive story structure and the difference between fiction and nonfiction. Activities engage students in writing a make-believe animal story, learning an animal sounds song, and sorting animals into categories.
Genre Focus: Repetitive Story Structure
Comprehension Focus: Identify Fiction and Nonfiction
Language Focus: Define Words by Key Attributes
Get Ready to Read
Write the heading “Farm Animals” on the whiteboard or chart paper. Ask students to name animals they would probably see at a farm. As you write down the name of each animal, ask students to make the noise that the animal makes. Continue the list until you have the names of most of the animals featured in Duck on a Bike.
Read aloud a nonfiction book about farm animals such as Animals on the Farm by Christopher Hernandez. Show students the photographs and explain that the book gives true information and facts about farm animals. Ask how they can tell that this is a true, or nonfiction, book. (Sample answers: It includes photos. It’s about real people, real animals, and a real place). Then explain that the book you will read together is a make-believe or fictional story. Encourage students to pay attention to things in the book that are make-believe or could not happen in the real world.
Preview and Predict
Ask students to look at the cover of Duck on a Bike. Have them predict what they think might happen in the story.
Define Words by Key Attributes
Introduce students to the vocabulary words, explaining that each word belongs to the category of farm animals. Ask students to watch for the following words as they read the book. Encourage them to look for clues in the illustrations for the meaning of any words they don’t know.
Use Resource #1: Vocabulary Cards and distribute copies to students.
Words to Know
Ask students to cut apart their vocabularycards to play a game. Remind them that all the animals in the book are farm animals which is a way to describe and categorize the animals. Another way to describe the animal is by the way it looks or by things it does. For example, a duck is a farm animal that swims.
Name a farm animal and have students hold up its card. Then tell students to look at the picture of the animal and define it by saying: a ____ is a farm animal that _______________. Give several students the chance to define each animal.
As You Read
Reading the Book
Read the book aloud with fluency and expression. If possible, project the book on a whiteboard or screen. Ask students to look carefully at the illustrations as they listen, connecting what they hear in the story to what they see in the pictures.
Reread the book and ask students to read their copies at the same time. Remind them to think about the parts of the book that are make-believe and could never happen in real life. If students are able, encourage them to read the text aloud with you.
Big Question: Critical Thinking
Ask students to think about this question as they read and be ready to answer it when they have finished the book. Write the question on chart paper or have students write it in their reading journals. Do you think an animal could really ride a bike? Why or why not?
Identify Fiction and Nonfiction
Remind students about the book you read about real farm animals. Explain that it was a nonfiction book full of facts and information. Duck on a Bike, on the other hand, is a fiction book about farm animals doing things that real farm animals cannot do. Tell students that they will be comparing the make-believe farm animals in Duck on a Bike to real farm animals.
Use the graphic organizer on Resource #2: Identify Fiction and Nonfiction to model for students how to distinguish between make-believe and real animals. Project the page on a whiteboard or pass out copies to students.
Model: Let’s start by looking at the first two pages of the story that show Duck getting up on the bike. In the picture, the farmhouse looks real and the bike looks real. What looks like it is make-believe? The way Duck is climbing up onto the bike with his wing tips on the handlebars is definitely not real. No duck could do that! And in the text, Duck is thinking in English— which also doesn’t happen in real life! I’ll write both those things under “Make-Believe.” I’ll write that ducks don’t ride bikes and ducks don’t think in English under “Real.”
Have students volunteer more examples of makebelieve from the text and illustrations of the book. Have them write corresponding things about real farm animals.
After You Read
Questions to Discuss
Lead students in a discussion of these focus story elements.
1. Repetitive Story Structure
What does Duck say each time he rides by an animal on his bike? What do the animals say back? Then what happens each time? (Sample answers: He says, “Hello Cow” or “Hello Sheep;” The animals say their sound such as, “Moo” or “Baaa;” The animal thinks something about Duck and we find out what it is.)
2. Recognize Fiction and Nonfiction
Look at the two-page illustration of all the kids on their bikes on pages 20–21. Could this happen in real life? Is there anything that doesn’t look like real life? (Sample answers: Most of the kids look like real kids and so do the bikes. The little kid on the tricycle is dressed like a make-believe character and probably couldn’t ride as fast as the others.)
3. Define Words by Key Attributes
Define another animal, such as a shark by categorizing the type of animal it is and how it looks? (Sample answer: A shark is an ocean animal that has sharp teeth.)
Questions to Share
Encourage students to share their responses with a partner or small group.
Which animal do you think looks funniest on a bike? Explain why.
Do you think pets like cats and dogs ever think thoughts about humans? What might a pet cat or dog think?
What other book have you read that had make-believe animals that talk and do crazy things?
Content Area Connections
Give students practice with categorizing animals by sorting them into two groups of farm and non-farm animals. Provide students with magazine pictures of animals to cut out and paste onto a T-chart. At the top of the columns write “Farm Animals” and “Not Farm Animals.” Or do the same activity on the whiteboard using photos of animals.
Duck in a Maze
Print each student a copy of the duck maze found on the Scholastic website. Have students practice their reasoning skills by finding the route baby ducks need to take to find their mother. Challenge students to create their own animal mazes and trade them with partners to complete.
The Animal Sounds Song
Project an animated video from YouTube that goes along with “The Animal Sounds Song” so students can watch and sing along. Most of the sounds are of farm animals with a few other animals added. Students will enjoy learning this song and singing it together several times through.
Retell the Story
Look through the pages of the book one more time with students, encouraging them to orally retell the story. Ask individuals to describe what Duck is doing on each page spread and what sound the other animal on the page makes when it sees Duck. Help them conclude the story with the text on the last spread: “Then they put the bikes back by the house. And no one knew that on that afternoon, there had been a cow, a sheep, a dog, a cat, a horse, a chicken, a goat, two pigs, a mouse, and a duck on a bike.”
Write a Make-Believe Story
Challenge students to imagine that they are fiction writers who are writing funny books about an animal that decides to ride a form of transportation. Brainstorm lists of animals and lists of kinds of transportation, such as skateboards, scooters, skis, and boats. Then give students the following five-part frame for their story, modeled on Duck on a Bike.
- An animal decides to try a form of transportation.
- The animal passes by another animal, who makes a comment.
- The animal passes by a second animal, who makes a comment.
- The animal passes by a third animal, who also makes a comment.
- Something funny happens at the end of the story.
Have students write their stories or depending on their level, have students dictate the story while you write down their words. Give students copies of the Big Activity: A Make-Believe Story Cover to make an illustrated cover for their story.
Don't Forget the Big Question
Give each student an opportunity to answer the big question. Encourage students to support their answers with details and evidence from the text. Tell the students there is more than one right answer. Do you think an animal could really ride a bike? Why or why not?
A Make-Believe Story Cover
Tell students that they will illustrate a cover for their make-believe stories about an animal who tries out a new kind of transportation. Distribute copies of the Big Activity: A Make-Believe Story Cover to students and ask them to:
- give their story a titlle
- draw an illustration of the animal on its transportation
- add an animal noise or some English words that the animal is saying
- print their name as the author
To assess and enhance students’ comprehension, this Storia eBook contains a Reading Challenge Quiz, as well as the following enrichments:
- Picture Starter
- Scratch & See
- Touch the Page (2)
- Multiple Choice With Pictures
- Memory Match
- Multiple Choice With Text
About the Author
Internationally acclaimed picture-book creator David Shannon has been an artist since the age of five when he wrote and illustrated his first book. On every page there were pictures of David doing things he was not supposed to do accompanied by these words: No, David! Many years later, Shannon was inspired to write and illustrate his now-classic bestseller and Caldecott Honor Book, No, David!
Shannon often uses incidents and people from his own life in his work. His daughter made animal noises before she could talk, so Shannon wrote Duck on a Bike, a story with lots of quacks, moos, oinks, and woofs. His entertaining picture book, Good Boy, Fergus!, features the beloved family dog. And how can anyone with children not guess where Shannon got the idea for Too Many Toys?
Shannon has written and illustrated numerous award-winning, bestselling books, including A Bad Case of Stripes; Alice the Fairy; The Rain Came Down; and three more picture books featuring David: David Gets in Trouble; David Goes to School; and most recently, It’s Christmas, David! He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife, their daughter, and their dog, Fergus. Watch a video interview with David Shannon from the Scholastic website.
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