Make Way for Ducklings

by Robert McCloskey
Make Way for Ducklings Penguin Group

It's not easy for duck parents to find a safe place to raise their ducklings, but during a rest stop in Boston's Public Garden, Mr. and Mrs. Mallard think they just might have found the perfect spot. When Mrs. Mallard and her eight ducklings are stuck at a busy street in downtown Boston, their policeman friend Michael rushes in to stop traffic and make way for them. This classic won the Caldecott Award in 1942.

Enrichment Activities

  • Egg-Carton Ducklings
    You will need a two-cup section from an egg carton (with the sections still attached), glue, construction paper, scissors, feathers, beads, or other decorations. Bend the egg carton cups towards each other, rim to rim (making an oval shape). Glue the cups together to form the duck's body. Cut out a bill and feet from the construction paper. Glue the feet and bill to the duckling's body. Add feathers, beads for eyes, or other decorations to complete your duckling.
  • Draw a Map
    Have your students draw pictures of objects and characters from the story, then they can place them on a map of Boston. You may want to make a large-scale, simplified map of just the streets that are mentioned in the story. Students can practice retelling the story and retracing the ducks' routes.
  • The Ducklings' Names
    The ducklings are named in alphabetical order – Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack. Have the students write each duckling's name on a file card, then scramble the order of the file cards, and practice putting them back in alphabetical order. See if the students can think of new names for the ducklings that mirror the same alphabetical sequence.
  • Communities
    This story takes place in a city and your students will be able to find urban characteristics throughout the book. Make a chart which highlights the characteristics of and differences between a city, a suburban area, and a rural area. Students can compare and contrast the buildings, open spaces, transportation, population sizes, etc.

Books by Robert McCloskey

Blueberries for Sal
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers
Grade Levels: Pre-K, Primary, Intermediate
The adventures of a little girl and a baby bear while hunting for blueberries with their mothers one bright summer day. All the color and flavor of the sea and pine-covered Maine countryside.

Burt Dow Deep-Water Man: A Tale of the Sea in the Classic Tradition
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers
Grade Levels: Pre-K, Primary, Intermediate
Whenever Burt Dow, who lives in a snug little house on the Maine coast, sets out to sea, his pet giggling gull goes along. But this time, it will take all his might and some plain old ingenuity to save him and the gull from a raging storm.

Centerburg Tales: More Adventures of Homer Price
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers
Grade Levels: Pre-K, Primary, Intermediate
It's not that the folks in Centerburg are especially nosy; it's just that in a small town everyone seems to know everything. But Homer Price does know more about what's going on than anyone, because he's usually in the middle of things!

Homer Price
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers
Grade Levels: Primary, Intermediate
Homer Price lives two miles out of Centerburg, where Route 56 meets 56A, but most of his friends and relatives live in town. They include Aunt Aggy and Uncle Ulysses, the Sheriff and the boys, Miss Terwilliger, and Miss Naomi Enders. While Centerburg is not exactly nosey, precious little happens that the good citizens do not know.

Publisher: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers
Grade Levels: Primary, Intermediate
Lentil cannot sing or even whistle; longing to make music in some fashion, he provides himself with a harmonica and practices constantly wherever he is, especially in the bathtub, because there his tone is improved 100 percent. A book that, along with its fun, truly illustrates the American scene.

One Morning in Maine
Publisher: Viking Children's Books
Grade Levels: Pre-K, Primary, Intermediate
As we follow the story of Sal and his lost tooth we feel as refreshed as though we had spent a day with his family on their island

Time of Wonder
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers
Grade Levels: Pre-K, Primary, Intermediate
Out on the islands that poke their rocky shores above the waters of Penobscot Bay, you can watch the time of the world go by, from minute to minute, hour to hour, from day to day... So begins McCloskey's classic story of one summer on a Maine island.


Brought to you by Penguin Young Readers Group.

The Penguin Group is the second-largest English-language trade book publisher in the world. The company possesses perhaps the world's most prestigious list of best-selling authors and a backlist of unparalleled breadth, depth, and quality. Penguin Young Readers Group features books by authors and illustrators including Judy Blume, Brian Jacques, Eric Carle, and beloved characters like Winnie-the-Pooh, Madeline, The Little Engine that Could, and many, many more.

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