First, we attacked the word. "It's got a suffix," she said excitedly, "and a base word, too! So, it says ug.ly!"
"Well, it does say ugly," I volunteered, "but in this word, ly is not a suffix because ug is not a word."
"Oh yes it is," she said assertively, "like in my boots!"
"Let's see your boots," I suggested, and we lo and behold Ugg boots, not Ug boots do exist!
"Oooh," she said, "I get it. They are spelled differently. And, Ugg boots are not Ugggly!" she laughed recognizing her joke.
"Well," she jumped into another thought as she is prone to do, "that is not a very nice thing to call the duckling just because he is gray and different because he is nice and friendly too! And, I can prove it,"she offered," going back into the text and finding the proof she needed for each describing word.
We crafted sticky notes to hide the now offensive (perhaps even bully-like word) in the old title and continued with our guided reading of the text using some chunking, some finding base words, and some thinking about the meaning of words as we went along.
"We should rewrite this story," she offered as a suggestion to my planned teaching for the week as she skipped back to class.
Perhaps we will, I thought, my mind wandering just like hers to the teacher-accountability rubric that highly values student-led learning!