The Ugly Duckling

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By Brenda Williamschildren’s author, poet and early years specialist

Explore the story of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ in your very own ‘Ducks and swans’ area

The Ugly Duckling

Ducks and swans

Read and enjoy together the story of ‘The Ugly Duckling’.

In a section of your room, cover a wall in green or blue backing paper to represent water. Display pictures of ducks, ducklings, swans and cygnets on the wall. Point out to the children the similarities and differences between the ducklings and cygnets. To help the children understand how the swan might have been mistaken for a duckling, remind them that both are hatched from eggs, both live near water, and can ‘swim’ by paddling on the surface. Leave the story of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ nearby for the children to refer to.

Place a CD or cassette player in the ‘Ducks and swans’ area, together with a recording of The Ugly Duckling story on a CD or cassette. Encourage the children to use the equipment independently to listen to the story, retell it and follow the pictures in the book.

Arrange a musical area, including a variety of simple instruments for the children to experiment with, a recording of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ and a selection of music CDs or cassettes.

Provide a water tray with plastic ducks, swans and so on, together with heavy items such as stones, to encourage the children to enjoy re-enacting the story, and investigating objects that float and sink.

Suggested resources

The Ugly Duckling (Flip Up Fairy Tales series, Child’s Play) pictures of ducks, ducklings, swans and cygnets; CD or cassette player; recording of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ story on a CD or cassette; simple musical instruments such as bells, tambourines, xylophone, cymbals and drum; recording of The Ugly Duckling song by Danny Kaye; selection of music CDs or cassettes; water tray; plastic ducks, swans and so on; stones.

1 The sad duckling

Explore feelings by identifying with the ugly duckling

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Behaviour and Self-control

Development matters: are aware that some actions can hurt or harm others (22-36 months); begin to accept the needs of others, with support (30-50 months).

Early learning goal: consider the consequences of their words and actions for themselves and others.

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