Friday, October 15, 2010

Goodnight Gorilla

This week we read Goodnight Gorilla, by Peggy Rathmann.  We also watched the animated version of the story. 

I asked Arin to summarize this story for me (this is an idea I borrowed from Michelle.  Thanks!)  This is how she retold me the story:
"The gorilla got the keys from the guy that locks all the animals in the zoo.  Then what happened was the gorilla unlocked all the cages, even his own, and all the other animals' cages.  Then, the zookeeper went to his house and the animals went too.  Then the girl (zookeeper's wife) saw the animals and she brought them to the zoo.  Then the gorilla still had the keys when the girl brought them back to the zoo.  The gorilla went back to the house with the mouse.  They put the keys on the floor and then got in bed and went to sleep with the zookeeper and the girl.  That's it!"

I printed a set of animal cards from here and had Arin sequence them.  She needed help to remember which order the hyena and the giraffe were introduced.  Otherwise she did the rest of the sequencing on her own.  I think we'll be doing more of this type of work after reading stories.

I printed a second set of the cards and let Ella use them as matching cards.

Next, the girls both colored a picture of a gorilla (found here).  We used Arin's picture as the cover of her lapbook.  I taped four pieces of cardstock together (green because it is Gg week) and made the book acordian style.

The activities for these two pages came from here and here.

On the next two pages, I glued on animal cages (this game is found here).  I closed each cage with a piece of velcro and then put a velcro dot on the back of each card and also on the space next tot he cage (mostly so it would be secure during storage).  I believe the original directions were something like match the correct key to the correctly colored cage, open the cage and see the animal inside.  Arin is past color matching and Ella was down for a nap, so we revised the directions.  We played a game of guess where the animal is.  Instead of gluing the animals into the cages, we left them loose so we could move them around with each play.  One of us would hide the animals and the other would guess where it was.  For example, if I were looking for the lion, I might guess it was in the blue cage.  I would take the blue key, place it on the velcro dot beside the cage, open the cage and see what was hiding inside.  If it was the lion then the turn would end.  If it wasn't the lion, then we'd take another key and try a different cage.  We kept the keys on the velcro dots until we found the right cage (this way we could see how many turns it took to guess the right cage).  Arin especially liked this game!

On one of the back pages, I printed Gg dot-to-dot, which can be found here.

I glued this gorilla maze to another of the back pages.  It was really too advanced for Arin.

On the back page, I printed a small fact sheet about gorillas (found here) and I also wrote down all of the Gg words that Arin could think of.


michelle said...

We love Good Night Gorilla! I especially liked the keys and cage game ~ so fun! But you did a great job with everything ~ as usual! *Ü*

lusi said...

Cara, I LOVE all that you share! It's so inspiring! Before I was officially homeschooling our children, I always wondered what other people did to help teach and train their little ones. Your blog is a great encouraging place for mamas to come and see how you can pass on a love of learning to children from a very young age. Well done Mama! I was wondering if I could please share about your blog in a post on my blog and link back to yours? It's fine if you prefer not for me to do that :) You can email me at
Much love + thanks again,
Lusi x
Ps: We are doing your Adam and Eve tempation experiment this afternoon!