K.10: Traditional tales

Lesson overview

Theme:Understanding prejudice
Age Group:Kindergarten
Learning Area:English

Content descriptor

Students discuss and respond to, familiar written and visual texts.

Teachers notes

  1. This activity encourages students to develop an understanding of fairness, respect, inclusion and exclusion in social groups. The story is about a duckling who is rejected from a group when young due to appearance, and accepted when older.
  2. Teachers may use other traditional tales which depict similar situations as an alternative. Class discussions should focus on attitudes and perceptions of the characters, as well as inclusive/ exclusive behaviours within the story.


The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Anderson or similar text, butcher’s paper and textas or crayons.


  1. Read The Ugly Ducking or similar text to the class as a stimulus for discussion.
  2. Make appropriate stops throughout the story to highlight the treatment of the duckling by the other animals.
  3. Discuss with the class:
    1. Why did they tease him?
    2. Was he included or excluded?
    3. Was it fair?
    4. How did he feel?
  4. On butcher’s paper, draw large outlines of both the cygnet and the swan. Ask students to describe:
    1. how the duckling felt when he was young and rejected
    2. how he felt when he was older and accepted.
  5. Write descriptive words inside the appropriate outline.