The One and Only Ivan

Related Activities & Book Talk Teasers

Discussion Guide including extension activities:

Ideas for going in depth with The One and Only Ivan over a four-week period:

Compare the American cover with the British cover.  Which do you like best and why?  (The website below shows both covers):

Working with predictions for this book:

Journaling about the book:

Discussion prompts for the book:

Create an ideal zoo enclosure for your chosen animal (information about making the enclosure follows information about the real Ivan in the video, below):  (4:07 minutes)

Creating six-word stories for this book:

A mock “Free Ruby” protest rally with signs:  (29 seconds)

Gorilla activities:

Elephant activities:  (scroll down)

Zoo activities:

Animal communication activities:


Book Talk Teasers 

Some quotes from the book to read aloud as teasers:

Explain to your audience that the character telling the story is a large, adult male gorilla who lives at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall.  His best friends are an elephant in the next “domain” (cage) named Stella and a stray dog named Bob.  The mall owner is Mack, who is having trouble making money with the Big Top Mall.  Then read the chapter entitled “Arrival,” pages 68-70.


One thought on “The One and Only Ivan

  1. Hi there
    As well as the 6 words stories my students also became Ivan and Stella and created diary entry blogs. This was probably the best activity we undertook and I was amazed at how well they were able to portray the feeling of each character they took on. Each child has their own website and their own blog. Here is a sample of the blogs they produced.

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