BRONXVILLE, N.Y. - Some of Bronxville’s youngest students took some furry friends for a special swim recently as part of their kindergarten science project.
After spending weeks tending to the classroom’s ducks and chicks, Bronxville Elementary School students took four of the ducklings out for their first swim as part of the district’s annual rite-of-passage tradition.
The kindergarteners gathered around a small pool outside of their classroom and watched as the ducklings swam and frolicked in the shallow water. During the three week project, the students were tasked with tending to the classrooms’ incubators by checking temperature and humidity and nurtured the eggs until they hatched.
According to kindergarten teacher Gail Mathias, the lesson plan emphasizes writing and science, as the students learned about the different parts of the egg and embryo, writing down their observations and discoveries along the way. They were also taught the differences and similarities between the chicks and ducklings.
Mathias noted that the tradition of raising and studying ducklings goes back decades in Bronxville. She mused that she still sees former students who come back to see each year’s crop of chickens and ducks.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the children to learn about the life cycle of ducks and chickens,” she added. “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 kindergarteners, but also for students in other grades who come back year after year to visit the newly born chicks and ducklings.”