1. The One and Only Ivan
Grade Level 3
Michele A. Slusser
2. Applegate, K. (2012). The One and Only Ivan. New
York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.
This story is about the life of a
Silverback Gorilla named Ivan. He
was born in the jungle, but was later
captured and brought to live in a
mall. There he lives with an
elephant and a stray dog. He also
befriends a janitor and his
daughter. A baby elephant is
brought in to try to attract attention
and traffic to the mall. Ivan makes
a promise to the older elephant
that he will get the baby elephant
a better and safe life away from
the mall. It also shows Ivan
adapting to different ways of living.
3. Katherine Applegate Author Information
Katherine Applegate Author Information, continued.
Ivan (gorilla). (n.d.). Retrieved on July 9, 2015 from
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYYL2LxotA8 – Video
of Ivan in his enclosure at the B&I Circus Store/Mall in
Gorilla Rescue Story:
4. Gorilla Videos/Live Feed:
- Shows live feed of gorillas in the Toledo Zoo. Works best in
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uWHMq1bDAE – Video
of gorilla at the St. Louis Zoo. Students can see a 4 minute
video on how the gorilla walk, eats, and beats his chest.
Zoos and Animal Information:
5. VA Standards of Learning
English – Oral:
3.1 – The student will use effective communication skills in group activities.
3.2 – The student will present brief oral reports using visual media.
English - Reading
3.4 – The student will expand vocabulary when reading.
b. Use knowledge of roots, affixes, synonyms, and antonyms.
f. Use vocabulary from other content areas.
g. Use word reference resources including the glossary, dictionary, and
3.5 – The student will read and demonstrate comprehension of fictional text and
3.6 – The student will continue to read and demonstrate comprehension of
3.7 – The student will demonstrate comprehension of information from a variety of
print and electronic resources.
a. Use encyclopedias and other reference books, including online
English - Writing
3.8 – The student will write legibly in cursive.
3.9 – The student will write for a variety of purposes.
3.10 – The student will edit writing for correct grammar, capitalization, punctuation,
6. VA Standards of Learning Used,
3.1 – The student will
b. round whole numbers, 9,999 or less, to the nearest ten, hundred, and
c. compare two whole numbers between 0 – 9,999, using symbols (>,<, or
words (greater than, less than, or equal to).
3.17 – The student will
a. collect and organize data, using observations, measurements, survey
b. construct a line plot, a picture graph, or a bar graph to represent the
c. read and interpret the data represented in line plots, bar graphs, and
picture graphs, and write a sentence analyzing the data.
3.4 – The student will investigate and understand that adaptations allow animals to
satisfy life needs and respond to the environment.
3.5 – The student will investigate and understand relationships among organisms in
terrestrial food chains.
3.6 – The student will investigate and understand that ecosystems support a diversity
of plants and animals that share limited resources.
b. terrestrial ecosystems
7. VA Standards of Learning Used,
History and Social Science
3.5 – The student will develop map skills by locating specific places, using a simple
letter-number grid system.
3.1 – The student will apply locomotor, non-locomotor, and manipulative skills in
complex movement activities.
3.2 – The student will describe and use steps of the art-making process, including
preliminary sketching, and planning, to create works of art.
3.4 – The student will use imaginative and expressive strategies to create works of
3.6 – The student will create works of art that communicates ideas, themes, and
3.7 – The students will use the following in works of art:
3.9 – The student will identify and use foreground, middle ground, and background
8. Activity 1 - English 3.1, 3.4, 3.5
Students will participate in a Literature Circle Discussion of 4 to
5 students. They will be responsible for making predictions
before reading. While reading, students will have to be able
to identify the problem, solution, and main idea. After they
are done reading, students will each need to make up one
question from each of the following three areas to bring to
their group. Based on the Literature Circles for ODU’s
Children’s Literature course, there will be a “right there” literal
question, a “think and search” question, and an interpretive
question. Students will also need to compare and contrast the
different settings, characters, and events.
9. Activity 2 - English 3.6, 3.7, 3.9, 3.10,
3.11 and Science 3.4, 3.5, 3.6b
Students will choose an animal from a zoo (ex. Silverback
Gorilla, Asian Elephant) to write a short one to two page
informative report on. The report will be on the animal in its
natural environment. There will be groups of no more than 6
students for each habitat (ex. desert, rainforest, forest, etc.).
This will be for a later corresponding activity. They will need to
identify how the animals gather and store food, find shelter,
defend themselves, move around, and raise their young.
Students will also have to identify the animals as producers,
consumers, herbivores, omnivores, carnivores, decomposers,
predators, or prey. Students will need to explain how the
animals use the resources in their natural environment. The
students will use their time with the school librarian to practice
using technology and reference tools to gather information for
10. Activity 3 - English 3.2, 3.12, Physical
Using the information that they learned above in Activity 2,
students will need to give an 2 – 4 minute oral report using a 30
second Animoto video to show different pictures of the animal
they researched, both in its natural environment or zoo/park
environment. One requirement is that the student shows the
class how the animal moves during the presentation.
Activity 4 - Science 3.5, Visual Arts 3.2
Using the data collected in Activity 2, students will create a
model of a food chain that their animal is in. Students will
need to identify the producers and consumers in this food
11. Using the information that they learned above in Activity 2, the class will
be grouped into 2 – 4 students in their animal’s habitat. The classroom will
be changed into viewing windows like at a zoo. The viewing windows will
be more like giant dioramas. Working together, students will great the
habitats for their animals. Students will need to show preliminary sketches
and plans on how to create their habitat enclosure. The projects would
need to be complete by April 8th, which is National Zoo Lover’s Day. This is
when parents, other classrooms, administration, and the community will
be allowed to come in to view the windows. Students will be available to
given information on their animal if asked.
Activity 5 - English 3.2, Science 3.4, and
Visual Arts 3.2, 3.4, 3.6, 3.7, 3.9, 3.10
12. Activity 7 - English 3.4b, g
Using the characters from the story, pairs of student will create
a synonym chart to describe a big gorilla or elephant and a
little girl or dog. The charts will be in the outline shape of their
chosen character. They will need 8 – 10 words for the big and
little synonym charts.
Activity 6 - English 3.2, Science 3.10a
Using the group information learned in Activity 4, student will
need to explain the interdependency of plants and animals in
their given habitat.
13. Activity 9 - English 3.8, 3.9, 3.10
After reading the story, students will write a friendly letter to the
author, Katherine Applegate, on their thoughts of her book.
Students will make sure their letters have a date, greeting,
body, and closing. Students will edit writing for the correct
grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. The final
draft of the letters will be written in legible cursive.
Based on the activity from Lynda Ackert, before reading The
One and Only Ivan, students will be given a list of vocabulary
words to look up in the dictionary to find the meaning. The
words will be discussed before and after reading the book.
Activity 8 - English 3.4b, g
14. Activity 10 - English 3.8, 3.9, 3.10
Students will write a friendly letter from Ruby to Ivan. Students
will make sure their letters have a date, greeting, body, and
closing. Students will edit writing for the correct grammar,
capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. The final draft of the
letters will be written in legible cursive. Students can include a
thank you and how she feels in her new home. Students can
also describe what her new home looks like.
Activity 11 - English 3.5l, 3.9d, e
Shared from HarperCollins Discussion Guide – Students will
learn the difference between fact and fiction by learning
about the real Ivan and how he adapted to his new home.
Students will plan a campaign to rescue an animal in a similar
situation. How would they raise awareness to the animal’s
situation, like Ivan did with the paintings and like Julia and
George did with the billboard? Whom would they enlist to
15. Activity 12 - English 3.7a, 3.9, 3.10, 3.11,
Based on an idea from The Classroom Bookshelf – Stella tells
the other animals of “good zoos.” Students will create a poster
using PowerPoint for their own “good zoo.” Students will make
the poster visually appealing and informative for what their
zoo has to offer. They will need at least 3 pictures of the
animals they want in their zoo. They will need to decide on
admission and 1 extra that this zoo may offer compared to
other zoos. Some examples could be feeding the animal,
educational hours to learn about a given animal, etc. Posters
would be shared with the school website under Highlights for
the school, so that parents and the community could see what
students were working on.
16. Activity 13 - History and Social Sciences
Students will create their own zoo map to go with their “good
zoo” from Activity 12. Students will need to use a simple letter-
number grid system to help others locate specific animals.
Students will then get to share their maps with the class by
having them displayed on a bulletin board with zoo-like bars to
behind the maps.
Activity 14 - Mathematics 3.1b
Using the different numbers below from the story, students will
round the given whole numbers from the story to the nearest
10, hundred and thousand place. Exit 8 , 600 lbs., Ruby, 45 lbs.
of food, 9855 days, $20, $25, $40, 1 Ivan, 2013 year Newbery
Medal, 27yrs in zoo, 50yrs when died, 365days did tricks at zoo,
9876 days, 16 pieces of paper, $65.
17. Activity 15 - Mathematics 3.1c
Using the same numbers from Activity 14, students will
compare the whole numbers using symbols (>, <, =) and words
(greater than, less than, or equal to). Students will compare
the amount of money for different pictures, the number of
days and years in the zoo, different weights, and different
amount of objects.
Activity 16 - Mathematics 3.17
Using data given on the growth of a gorilla, students will be
given a line plot or bar graph. Students will then need to read
and interpret the data while writing a sentence analyzing the
data. Students will then need to create a line plot or bar
graph on their own growth over the years from birth to 3rd
Ackert, L. (2014, May 15). The one and only ivan book unit. Retrieved on July 10, 2015
Applegate, K. (2012). The One and Only Ivan. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.
The Classroom Bookshelf. (2013, March 4). 2013 Newbery Medal Winner: The One and
Only Ivan. Retrieved from http://classroombookshelf.blogspot.com/2013/03/2013-
Crone, H. (n.d.). Literature Circle Discussion Directions. Retrieved on July 10, 2015 from
Exploring the Environment: Mountain Gorillas. Retrieved on July 10, 2015 from
HarperCollins. (n.d.) The One and Only Ivan Discussion Guide. Retrieved on July 10, 2015
Virginia Department of Education (2010). Standards of Learning (SOL) & Testing.
Retrieved on July 9, 2015 from http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/index.shtml