Get ready to discuss, share, play, create, and read your way to developing and empowering a strong character.
With springtime came the arrival of animals that migrated each year to Breakers Island. The ducks were returning and found many changes upon their arrival. Imagine how the ducks felt when they discovered they needed to find a new place to live.
Story Focus, Virtues, and Life Lessons
The focus is sharing living space with others while respecting everyone’s rights and differences to maintain harmony and goodwill among the animals on Breakers Island.
“Perseverance” is staying with something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Solutions can be found with time and effort.
- Drake, the duck’s leader, said, “Let’s send two ducks ahead to look for a good nesting spot.”
- Sisters, Dana and Diana, were picked to fly over and check on the ponds. Drake was surprised at their report on Breakers Island.
- Dana said, “Drake, you should fly over and check out this pond. It looks like a good place for us to nest.”
- Drake flew over the pond. He agreed with Dana and Diana.
- No one could miss their return. The air was filled with the loud noise of the ducks as they flew to their new home at Mallard Pond.
Interactive Discussion and Activities
Reading Story Techniques
First, pre-read the story before reading it aloud with your learner. Use expressive language, gestures, motions, and sounds to make the story come alive:
- Begin the story in a calm and soothing voice. Gradually build to a crescendo of excitement when reading how Secret Spring Meadow bursts into color and the streams bubble with the water flow.
- Change your voice to annoyance when reading about the animals not
looking forward to the return of the snowbirds.
- Change the tone of your voice to a croaking frog when reading Fred, the Frog King’s lines.
- Distinguish the tone of your voice to a female frog for Queen Lilly’s lines.
- Redirect the tone of your voice to sound differently for the beavers.
- Use a happy-go-lucky tone when reading the paragraph about the ducks not knowing how all the other animals felt about them.
- There are three dialogue changes with the ducks. There is the leader, Drake, and the two sisters, Dana and Diane. To the best of your ability, alter the tone of your voice with each character during the dialogue among the ducks.
- End the story by quacking like a duck. Have young learners imitate you.
Interject these questions to involve the learner:
- What are “snow birds?”
- Who liked the ducklings?
- When were the ducks returning to Breakers Island?
- Where did the ducks nest?
- Why did the beavers think the ducks were noisy?
Use the answers to these questions to recall points in the story.
- Who made the final decision on where the ducks would nest on Breakers Island?
Drake, the ducks’ leader.
- Why was Drake concerned about the waterfall?
Drake asked, “So you want us to live on a pond where we will bob up and down in the water?”
- What happened when Dana dive-bombed the mean frog?
The frog reported, “Those ducks are a flying menace. I almost had my head taken off by one.”
- When were the scouts sent to Breakers Island? Why?
Springtime. It was time for the ducks to migrate to Breakers Island.
- Where did the scouts fly?
Diana said, “When we got such a cold welcome from the beavers and frogs, we flew over the rest of the meadows and woods. We found a pond that is a little larger.
- Note: Close with a discussion on being a good neighbor. The ducks had no idea how their neighbors viewed them. They were a happy, social group. The ducks liked their summer home at Breakers Island.
Behavior/Social Development (All Ages):
- Define the word “perseverance.” It is sticking to your task no matter how difficult. Ask your learner to paraphrase the meaning to you in their own words. Give your learner a visual image of perseverance, like a marathon runner or a long distance bicyclist, etc.
- Discuss and share examples of times when it would be easier to quit. Examples are cleaning a very messy closet or bedroom, learning a new skill, finishing all your homework, etc. Ask your learner if they have ever given up too soon.
- Turning back to the positive, have your learner list all the things they have felt were accomplished because they didn’t give up. If your learner is having trouble thinking of things remind the learner that they learned to walk and talk!
- Discuss with your learner that it takes practice to be accomplished at anything. “Practice makes perfect” is an old saying that rings true. Research on the Internet one of your learner’s real life heroes (songwriter, scientist, doctor, or even yourself with your particular career skill) and discover how that hero worked at becoming accomplished, how long it took and what it took.
- Discuss with your learner possible feelings of frustration when staying with a difficult task. Explain that it is okay and taking time for breaks is helpful. Share personal examples and then ask your learner to reflect on times they felt frustrated. Ask how they handled the feeling of being frustrated. Did they take a break? How did they feel after going back to the task at hand?
- Introduce the word “determination,” the refusal to let anything prevent you from doing what you have decided to do. Have your learner identify the things they are determined to do. Write down their responses and save for later discussions.
- Brainstorm and identify famous people (dead or alive) who
demonstrated perseverance. Examples are Rosa Parks, Helen Keller, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Christopher Reeves, victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, etc. Read their stories together and discuss how they showed their perseverance and their end results. Ask your learner to identify some ways in which they might be like that person and ways in which they are different. Write their responses and save for later.
- Share the 3 P’s for success: Patience – Practice – Perseverance
Language Development (Younger Learners):
- Antonyms: left – returned, smooth – rough, summer – winter
- Identify and define words that may not be familiar to your learner, such as “migrated,” “dive-bombing,” “lodges,” “whistles,” “coos,” “grunts,” “menace,” “ripple,” and “viewed.”
Imitate those noises and have your learner try to as well.
- Identify word patterns: Long E Sounds “– eam”
Bolded words, among the following, were used in Snow Birds — beam, clean, dream, lean, mean, stream, team
- Re-introduce the word, “perseverance.” Ask your learner to repeat the word. Work with your leaner to pronounce perseverance correctly. Break it down into syllables. When your learner can pronounce it, define it for easy comprehension. An example is “perseverance is working hard to finish something you started without giving up.” Have your learner identify tasks and times they have persevered.
Language Development (Older Learners):
- Re-introduce the word, “perseverance.” Have your learner brainstorm synonyms. Use the synonyms in sentences which reflect real-life situations they have experienced. Examples are:
- “Dedicated — I am dedicated to my piano lessons.”
- “Endurance — I had the endurance to finish the race.”
- “Determination — I have the determination to become MVP of my basketball team someday.”
- Research on the Internet, or other resources, more synonyms for perseverance, and create little stories or scenarios that represent a visual image.
- Identify words that are antonyms to perseverance. Examples are “apathy,” “lethargic,” “laziness,” and “idleness.”
- Repeat the above activity of creating scenarios, this time using the antonyms. Make it a game by telling short stories and having your learner identify the word that best describes the situation. Examples are:
- “Johnny had the opportunity to earn spending money by cutting his neighbors’ lawns.”
- “Johnny didn’t bother asking neighbors who would be interested.”
- “Johnny was lazy – apathetic – cowardice, etc.”
- Discuss with your learner the power of setting goals and identifying the steps in which to achieve those goals.
Discover the values covered in this story through guided activities and fun projects that ensure learner involvement.
Arts and Crafts ideas for Creatively Understanding the Virtues
Arts & Crafts Activities (Younger Learners):
- Create or purchase an easy “Paint by Numbers” picture, and have your learner complete the painting.
- Make a gingerbread house and decorate it with candy. (Buy a prepackaged gingerbread kit and save time and energy in preparation.)
- Stack blocks, books, or cards to create a tall building.
- Make potholders with a loom kit and/or do lacing cards.
Arts & Crafts Activities (Older Learners):
- Create a “Perseverance Collage,” using pictures from magazines or personal photos that illustrate perseverance in action. Extend the activity to illustrate a personal time when your learner persevered and succeeded. Include writing the feeling words associated with their accomplishment, such as happy, thrilled, proud, confident, etc.
- Create a “Determination Poster,” using the responses your learner identified as determined to do, in the social/emotional development activity. Draw pictures or use photos representing those things. Decorate the poster and place it in a prominent place to be viewed.
Involvement Tips (All Ages):
- Model perseverance and talk aloud through it. Having your learner hear your thoughts can help him/her discover how to work through failures. Phrases like:
- “That didn’t work, let me try it this way.”
- “Maybe if I do this first it will work out better.”
- “I can do this” are the positive self talk that keeps people trying.
- Discuss how negative comments from other people can discourage a person’s perseverance in pursing their goals. Share any personal examples. Talk about things that your learner can do to prevent negative comments from blocking their efforts, such as “turn a deaf ear.” Rehearse positive comebacks:
- “You can’t discourage or stop me.”
- “I will finish this eventually.”
- “I am enjoying what I am doing.”
- “I like to keep trying.”
- When praising your learner for their accomplishments, choose words that connect hard work with their success. Example: “Congratulations on passing your exam. You really studied hard and were totally prepared for it.”
“Sisters, Dana and Diana, were picked to fly over and check on the ponds.”
Continue with learning experiences to extend your stay.
Follow-up Activities (All Ages):
- Read aloud short stories of perseverance. Together write a poem or a song that illustrates the character’s perseverance.
- Watch an entertaining age-appropriate movie together that demonstrates perseverance like, “Finding Nemo” or “Happy Feet,” etc.
- Watch YouTube videos that center on perseverance and determination
Real-Life Activities (All Ages):
- Do a puzzle together. Choose a challenging puzzle, based on the age of your learner – a 50-piece puzzle for younger learners, and up to a 500-1000 piece puzzle for older learners.
- Provide crossword puzzles, word searches, mazes, and other brain teasing games to work on.
- Look for people who show perseverance in your local newspaper. Discuss the “who,” “what,” “why,” “where,” “when,” and “how” of the story.
- Create “I Will” statements on decorative paper and place it in an area where it is highly visible.
“The air was filled with the loud noise of the ducks as they flew to their new home at Mallard Pond.”
Dive-bombing the frogs is no way to make friends.