The Ugly Duckling…Beautiful Swans

There’s no better way to discuss self esteem in second grade than with the story of The Ugly Duckling.  
You know the duck that did not look like all the others? 
How many of you have students who feel they don ’t fit in? 
My classroom is the place where anyone can excel and be the beautiful swan.
10-Ugly Duckling-001
Continuing with our thematic unit of Fairy Tales and Fables, students created their swans with simple materials 
such as paper and tempera paint.
Week One: Students used tempera paint to create the
 habitat the swan lives in. 
Reed grasses, cat tails, water ponds were all discussed for ideas.
Week Two:  Students created the beautiful swan. 
We discussed the shape of the swan. An “S” shape neck that is at least 3 finger widths wide. Also the body should be larger than the swan’s head. We added a large wing and put cuts at the tip to represent the feathers. 
Lastly, the students added a head with a painted paper beak and painted a small eye.
 Some students really explored the movement of a swan and applied that to their projects.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    February 29, 2012 at 1:57 am

    very cool project!

  • Reply
    J. Cooper
    February 29, 2012 at 2:06 am

    I love these! I'll have to try them. I will be seeing what versions of “The Ugly Duckling” our school library has tomorrow!

  • Reply
    February 29, 2012 at 2:40 am

    Simply beautiful!

  • Reply
    February 29, 2012 at 4:34 am

    Love these swans against the painted backgrounds! And you always have such a great photo collage presentation. I'm looking for a Picnik alternative as it closes soon. Any suggestions? Wonderful pieces from a favorite story!

  • Reply
    Frau Klex
    February 29, 2012 at 11:20 am

    This is so beautiful!

  • Reply
    February 29, 2012 at 11:46 am

    I started using Picasa for photo editing. It has been a blast figuring out the program!

  • Reply
    Mrs. C
    February 29, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Beautiful as always! 🙂

  • Reply
    February 29, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    So funny, I just started doing ducklings in class this week and we read a neat version of the book by Rachel Isadora- which I think you'd like as her illustrations are painted paper! The kids really responded to the story especially as our school just started a new anti-bullying program. Great work!

  • Reply
    Tati Galiano
    March 1, 2012 at 2:53 am

    A very nice project and the pictures are beautiful!
    And a precious blog is a pleasure to walk through it.
    Thank you!

  • Reply
    October 9, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Just a courtesy note to let you know I have pinned your “Ugly Duckling… Beautiful Swans” post to a pinterest board with a collection of learning resources to complement The Ugly Duckling iBook. If you have other posts on your blog or website that you think may be suitable for this or any other boards I am compiling, please email me. You can view my Pinterest boards at http://pinterest.com/fingerpprojects
    You may like to check back from time-to-time as the boards grow.
    Warm regards

  • Reply
    February 11, 2014 at 2:48 am


  • Leave a Reply