Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest

Every year the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service hosts an art competition. The goal is to draw and color the best duck from among other students in the same age group. Students from all over the country compete to have their duck drawing chosen, and the winner is placed on a new stamp for the year. Our students at Southwark are not only entering this year, but they had the awesome opportunity to have Forest ranger Sean, from the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, teach them about the park and the contest. The purpose of this contest is to raise awareness about the the marsh wildlife and the need for preservation. Our students artwork will be on exhibit at the Refuge in March, the federal government gives money to parks based on participation in this contest and money raised from the stamps goes to protecting wetlands.

Before starting to draw, Sean showed the students a picture of the park and asked them to observe what they saw. They pointed out the trees, the city of Philly in the back, and the many many ducks feeding in the marshes. We taught the class several terms to orient them about the wildlife and nature we are fighting to preserve.

  • Habitat – the natural home or environment of an animal, plant, or other organism.
  • Wetlands –  a place where the land is covered by water, either salt, fresh or somewhere in between.
  • Waterfowl – ducks, geese, or other large aquatic birds
  • Endangered – a species seriously at risk of extinction.
  • Drake – a male duck
  • Hen- a female duck 

Sean brought several props and handouts for the class to work with to have the best duck possible. We handed out step-by-step instruction on how to draw a duck if students didn’t know where to start. this helped them create an outline, but we also handed out pictures of various ducks, plastic replicas of ducks, and even stuffed ducks that once used to live at John Heinz. With these, they were able to create their own duck inspired by all the resources.


We wanted the students to have as much time as they could on their drawings, so they will be finishing them next week. However, they were able to get a good start and their pictures are looking awesome! We hope to quiz them on the questions they learned this week and teach them a little more about the wildlife that surrounds Philadelphia.


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