True or False?
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
Based on Duck for President
by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin
About the Book
Duck was tired of his chores on Farmer Browns farm. Duck didnt like to take out the trash, mow the lawn, and grind the coffee beans. So he organized an election to pick someone kinder as head of the farm. The animals voted and Duck won! Now he was in charge! But Ducks ambitions didnt end there. Soon he became governor of the state, then president of the country! Was the job of president fun? Sadly, no. So Duck put his V.P. in charge, returned to the farm and did what many former presidents do-began his autobiography.
With a humorous story by Doreen Cronin and pictures by award-winning Betsy Lewin, this light-hearted book will appeal to students and teachers alike.
Set the Stage
With a presidential election coming up in this country, this is a great introduction to voting, campaigning, and job responsibilities.
Look at the front and back cover and talk about the title and pictures.
- Notice the emphasis on red, white and blue colors. Why do you think these colors were used?
- Why might Duck be standing at the microphones? Why do you think there are balloons and hats in the picture?
- Explain that when the story opens Duck is unhappy with his present job. What are some things he can do about that?
After students have enjoyed the book, lead a spirited discussion with these questions:
- Which of Ducks activities do you think he enjoyed the most? What makes you say that?
- When Duck ran for president, what are some steps he and his supporters took to get him elected?
- What are some things Duck learned from his experiences?
- Which picture in the book is your favorite? Why?
- Did anything in the story surprise you? Please explain.
This fun reproducible will have students deciding which events really happened in the book.
To extend students understanding of the story, try these:
- I Need Your Vote: Pretend you are Duck running for head of the farm. Give a short speech telling the other animals why they should vote for you.
- Sketch It Out: With your students help, list on the board ten major events in the story. Then create a large storyboard with ten frames. Have volunteers draw each of the events in the correct frame and add a speech bubble to show what the main character is saying. Retell the story using the finished storyboard.
- Read Other Books: Read aloud to the class an appropriate grade-level biography of a former president. Talk about the accomplishments and disappointments that president had on the job.
- Make it Real: Ask students to find pictures in newspapers and magazines showing candidates electioneering. Which of these strategies are similar to those in Duck for President?
- Go to the Polls: Create a poster encouraging people to get out and vote in the next presidential election. Talk about the elements that make a good poster. Display the posters in the classroom or corridor.
- Do the Research: To run for president of the United States, a person must meet certain requirements to hold office (be a natural citizen of the U.S.; be 35 years old; be a resident of the country). Read aloud a book that explains these and talk it over.
- Vote for Me!: Hold an election for class president and vice president. First discuss the duties and responsibilities of the job, and its duration. Accept nominations, do some electioneering, and hold the election itself. Later, have the elected officials write about the pros and cons of the job. Invite classmates to write about their view of the officials performances.