Den grimme ælling (The Ugly Duckling)

I’m not sure I really knew, before beginning this study, that The Ugly Duckling was written by Hans Christian Andersen. It’s such a sweet story for even small children to understand about not treating others poorly just because they look different. I also didn’t know and LOVE that the national bird of Denmark is the mute swan. As this didn’t happen until 1984,  I’m guessing it had everything to do with this famous story.

And, as usual, there is so much more I didn’t know about Denmark and the Danes. Like the fact that it is one of the oldest kingdoms in the world with perhaps the oldest flag in the world. I also had no idea that Greenland and the Faroe islands are considered part of Denmark and that the nation gives about 10 percent of its gross national product to countries in need.

The more I learn, the more impressed I am with this Scandinavian wonder. I found a wonderful site with loads of great information about Denmark at that is full of history and beautiful images.

Today as we discussed the sweet story about a little swan who sadly finds himself cast out of his supposed family of ducks, we began making our own little swans.  While I couldn’t find many traditional Danish crafts online, I found several crafts for swans and this one, from, seemed perfect.

Using empty milk cartons, I cut the cartons horizontal in a type of zig-zag fashion, keeping the handle in tact.

Next, the kids each painted their milk carton white.

A crumpled up white napkin was glued on as the head and construction paper eyes and a beak were added.

The Beautiful Swan

Now, it’s off to the nursery to buy a Marguerite Daisy (hopefully, it’s the national flower of Denmark) to plant inside.


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