Before writing this book, McCloskey studied, observed, and learned about ducks. As a group, study, observe, and learn about ducks. Use story details and pictures to discover interesting facts about ducks and ducklings. Find out what they eat, where they live, how they move, etc. If possible, take a walk to a local pond to observe the ducks. As a group project, create your own book about ducks and ducklings.
Talk about Mr. and Mrs. Mallard looking for a place to live.
Stress the fact that the couple didn't share the same opinions. Write stories about choosing a good place to live–from a duck's point of view . . . from a pet's point of view . . . or, from a particular animal's point of view. As children share their stories, help them understand the difference between needs . . . and wants.