Accelerated Literacy Practitioners' Association Australia

Fraser Park school gets its own dedicated duck poem

Three classes at Fraser Park Primary School in Murray Bridge were studying duck stories: Farmer Duck. Magic Finger, and Alexander's Outing. Consultant Rose Ashton, in looking for a comparative text, found a poetry website, Poem Farm owned by poet Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. She wrote to Amy, asking for duck poems. Amy kindly wrote this poem, Mother Duck for the school. Poems are a great genre to use for comparing with narrative. As Mother Duck does, they tend to distill important qualities or messages. In this case, it is the determined and protective nature of the mother duck which is emphasised through extended and relentless sentences and rhythm. Rhyming poetry is difficult to take through to writing for marginalised students because it requires them to limit word choice even further because of the requirement for rhyming. However, a poem such as this is great for Literate Orientation, with a final emphasis on fluent reading. Great for school assembly. 

From Rose Ashton, here are some of the literary techniques used in this poem:

  1. consonance - or near-rhymes, where the consonant is the same.  So the 'dle' sound is repeated often:  waddle, middle, dawdle, model, toddle, waddle & paddle. 
  2. assonance or near-rhymes, where the vowel is the same. The words 'sweet' & 'deep'. 
  3. rhythm - there are 2 strong beats per line. (You did mention rhythm)
  4. There is a bit of onomatopoeia in it too - the sound of the duck feet in the street, created by all the 'dle' sounds.