Thursday, October 30, 2008

Duck for President!

Because of the upcoming election, I was looking for something fun to use to explain elections to Hannah. We love the books Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type and Giggle, Giggle, Quack, so I felt delighted when I discovered Doreen Cronin's newest book - Duck for President.

Duck becomes frustrated with all of the work he has to do on the farm and decides to hold an election to determine if he should be the new farmer instead. He wins, of course, and quickly discovers that "running a farm is very hard work." He then becomes governor and president, each time thinking that a higher office must be easier but learning that they all require a lot of hard work. In the end, Duck realizes that he would rather just be a duck. The story is delightful and provides a perfect starting point for a discussion about elections, campaigns, and the characteristics of a good leader.

Because we enjoyed our last lapbook so much, I decided that we would make another one for this unit. Duck for President has a wonderful website ( that includes downloadable buttons and campaign posters, a campaign commercial for Duck, and classroom activities and discussion questions for students. I also found a great deal of information in the printable teachers' guide on the website for Time for Kids. In fact, this coming week, we plan on using the information on their special election section as we discuss the election in even more detail.

Hannah and I ended having a lot of fun putting this lapbook together. I'll use the pictures to tell the story...

First, we discussed the character qualities of a good leader. Then, we used our knowledge of Duck from the other books to describe Duck's character. We made a flap book with those characteristics written under the appropriate flap:

Next, Hannah and I identified the chores and responsibilities that Duck had on the farm. We compared those jobs with the work required of him as farmer, governor, and president. I made a little tab book, and Hannah helped me write the different responsibilities for each job on the coordinating page:

Hannah looked at a variety of campaign buttons for Obama, McCain, and Duck, and then she created her own campaign button as if she were running for president. She came up with the slogan all by herself:

We talked about who the current leaders are in each job:

I identified nine vocabulary words that Hannah would need to understand as we discussed the unit. Using a dictionary and online resources, we came up with fairly simple definitions for each word. I wrote the words on small cards, and Hannah wrote the definitions. A small pocket in the lapbook stores the cards until we need to review them:

Finally, we moved on to our discussion of the current election. We put everything pertaining to Obama on the left side of this section and everything pertaining to McCain on the right side. We glued the sample campaign buttons down the sides, and I cut out the pieces to make the Democratic and Republican symbols, and Hannah glued them together and placed them on the bottom of the page:

Using the information provided and a word bank, Hannah completed the following venn diagram from the Time for Kids teachers' guide:

And, when we had finished, Hannah enjoyed doing some of the other activities from the two websites:

Hannah greatly enjoyed this activity, and I felt thrilled at my first attempt at designing my own lapbook for her. What a fun way to study the election!


Grumpy said...

This is very cool!
We may have to borrow some of these ideas!

Word Bug said...

It really was a lot of fun!

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