Teaching Life Science with Children’s Literature: Fluffy and Baron

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“Four weeks later, there were ducklings!  Fluffy wanted Baron to be the first one to meet them.”

 Fluffy and Baron, written and illustrated by Laura Rankin, is a delightful story about the friendship shared between a farm dog named Baron and a duckling named Fluffy.  Fluffy and Baron enjoy games together in the pond and in the field.  They share meals together and sleep together.  As the year progresses and the seasons change, Fluffy grows up and joins the wild ducks in the pond.  Baron is lonely.  When the wild ducks fly away, Fluffy stays but she cannot play with Baron yet.  She must tend to her new nest of nine eggs.

 This is a charming book that shows the life cycle of ducks in relation to the seasons.  The back of the book gives detailed information about the life of Mallards and Pekins.  The author’s note introduces the reader to concepts such as domesticated, wild, migratory habits, and incubation periods.

Curriculum Connections

This book can be used in the classroom to introduce students to living and nonliving things (K.6) and to study the basic needs of animals (K.7, 1.5, 2.4, 3.4).  The relationship between Fluffy and Baron and the relationship between Fluffy and the wild ducks can begin a discussion about interdependence.  Teachers can use this book to introduce a science unit on ducks and expand teaching to include songs, poetry, art, and continued life science studies.

Additional Resources

The Child Fun website has songs and poems about ducks.

For in-depth research on the life cycle of ducks and migration habits, go to Ducks Unlimited.

Enchanted Learning has plenty of ideas for creating your own cross-curricular duck theme for early elementary students.

 General Information

Book:  Fluffy and Baron
Author:  Laura Rankin
Illustrator:  Laura Rankin
Publisher:  Dial Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  2006
Pages:  29
Grade Range:  K-3rd
ISBN:  978-0-545-23833-5