Duckling Parade

Duckling Parade lesson plan

Make Way for Ducklings! Create dioramas depicting scenes from this children's classic about a family of mallards who live in the Boston Public Garden.

  • 1.

    Read <I>Make Way for Ducklings</I> by Robert McCloskey. Notice the realistic illustrations that enhance this tale. Choose your favorite scene from the book to show in a diorama. Adapt these directions, which are for the Boston Public Garden, to fit your choice. Use your imagination!

  • 2.

    With Crayola® Scissors, cut construction paper to fit the bottom of a recycled box. Using Crayola Colored Pencils, sketch the Boston skyline. Color it in with Crayola Washable Markers and Multicultural Markers. Use Crayola Oil Pastels for the sky if you wish. Use a Crayola Glue Stick to attach this background to the bottom of the box.

  • 3.

    On another paper, draw the foreground. Color the Boston Public Garden and its pond. Lay your box on its side. Glue foreground paper onto the side of the box that is lying flat.

  • 4.

    On recycled file folders or cardboard, sketch the mother and father ducks, eight ducklings, and any other objects from the story such as the swan boats, bridges, and weeping willows. Color them, cut them out, and glue them into the diorama. Retell the story to younger children or your family.


  • After reading <I>Make Way for Ducklings</I>, a Caldecott Award Book written by Robert McCloskey, students begin to recognize the characteristics of a classic book.
  • Students discover what mallard ducks look like, their habitats, how they raise their offspring, and what they eat.
  • Students build a diorama depicting a scene from the book and retell the story to others.


  • Explore other Robert McCloskey books such as <I>Blueberries for Sal</I>, <I>Homer Price</I>, <I>Lentil</I>, or <I>One Morning in Maine</I>. Act out scenes from them, creating stage sets and props.
  • Write questions about the book <I>Make Way for Ducklings</I> on a large beach ball. Play a game with the ball while assessing children's knowledge of the book.
  • Students find other Caldecott Award-winning books. Read some in class. Why do you think these books received such an important award?
  • Research information about Nancy Schon, the sculptor who created bronze statues of the ducklings and Mrs. Mallard for the Boston Public Garden.