Sitting Ducks by Michael Bedard – Teaching Literary Skills with Picture Books

Here is #24 in the picture books that I am sharing for the next 30+ days. These picture books can be used to teach literary skills to middle or high school students. Just because they are in the older grades doesn’t mean that picture books can’t be a great resource on its own or as a paired passage.

Sitting Ducks by Michael Bedard – Teaching Literary Skills with Picture Books

Description from Amazon:

Day after day, brand new ducks roll off a giant assembly line operated by alligators at the Colossal Duck Factory. They are loaded into trucks and taken to Ducktown, where they are fattened up in preparation for their final destination—into the stomachs of alligators. Everything proceeds smoothly, until the day one of the alligators decides to take a wayward duck home. Over time, the alligator grows fond of his future dinner. Can a duck and an alligator really be friends in an alligator-eat-duck world? Find out in this charming and humorous friendship story.

Literary Skills that can be taught with the book Sitting Ducks?


  • –  What does the word colossal mean? What are some synonyms?
  • –  What does incubation mean? How does it pertain to the the ducks?
  • –  surveyed
  • –  roamed
  • –  vigorously



  • –  Which character is dynamic? Why?
  • –  Which character is static? Why?
  • –  What makes the duck a protagonist? the alligator?
  • –  What events support the duck as a hero? How about the alligator?


  • –  What can you predict about this story based on the line, “Rarely did anything go wrong?”
  • –  What will happen to the duck after being stuffed into the alligators lunch pail?
  • –  How might the saying, “curiosity killed the cat” pertain to the duck?


  • –  What can you infer about alligators running a company that produces ducks?
  • –  What can you infer about the duck when he waited all day for the alligator to return and was excited when he got home?
  • –  Why didn’t the ducks just fly away?

    Writing Activity

  • –  Write an initial conversation of the alligator and the duck when they met at the factory. Be sure to use dialogue and quotation marks.
  • –  Write a persuasive speech for the duck trying to persuade other ducks that they are in danger
  • –  Create a warning poster for the ducks


  • Friendship in unusual places
  • Destined to be more than originally thought
  • Don’t know what you can do unless you try

Sitting Ducks can be found on Amazon click HERE

Want more? There is more and can be found on the resource at TpT.

Follow this blog and my TpT store for more great picture books to teach to secondary students.

One thought on “Sitting Ducks by Michael Bedard – Teaching Literary Skills with Picture Books

  1. I can’t image any middle or high school kids not loving this picture book. I mean, talk about hysterical, interesting imagery, and a throw-back to an easier time. That being said, I just put it in my Amazon basket to buy for my 2nd graders. So much good stuff int his bookt hat I can’t let it slip by. Thanks for the lead.

    Liked by 1 person

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