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Bronxville Union Free School District

Kindergartners Take Ducklings Out for First Swim

Bronxville Elementary School’s youngest students, who had been tending to their classrooms’ ducklings and chicks, had the opportunity to take four ducklings out for their first swim on May 25.

The kindergartners gathered around a small pool outside their classrooms to watch the ducklings frolic in the water. As part of an annual tradition that spans decades, the students tended to their classrooms’ incubators by checking the temperature and humidity and cared for the eggs prior to the birds’ arrival. They also made scientific observations and wrote down their discoveries.  

“It's a wonderful opportunity for the children to learn about the life cycle of ducks and chickens,” kindergarten teacher Gail Mathias said. “The children’s love for these animals is so endearing and comes as naturally as ducks take to water. This unit of study is enjoyable not only for the kindergartners, but also for students in other grades who come back year after year to visit the newly born chicks and ducklings.”

During the lesson unit, which placed a strong emphasis on writing and science, the students learned about the different parts of the egg and the growing embryo. Once the chicks, which took 21 days to hatch, and the ducklings, which took 28 days to hatch, arrived, the students observed their behaviors, noted their characteristics, drew illustrations and wrote down their observations.

“They also made comparisons of the ducks and chicks,” Mathias said. “Ducks have webbed feet and swim, while chicks have clawed feet and don't swim.”

As part of the experience, the students read “Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones,” “Make Way for Ducklings” and “The Ugly Duckling” and wrote goodbye letters to the chicks and ducklings before sending them off to their new home at a local farm.

  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image