Good Morning, Gorillas Literature Unit with Free Printable

Good Morning, Gorillas Literature Unit with Free Printable
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Unit Objectives

1. Demonstrate a growing stock of sight words

2. Use appropriate searching techniques to gather information

3. Deliver an informal presentation that conveys relevant information

4. Learn animal characteristics, survival skills, ways of obtaining food and defense against enemies

5. Identify and describe landforms, climate and vegetation of a specific area of study

6. Write stories that sequence events and include descriptive details

Book Vocabulary

Whether you are reading the book to your students or using multiple copies for students to read the book themselves, there are vocabulary words to include in the lesson. You may choose to introduce the words prior to reading the book or wait until students come upon the words. In that case, context clues could help them discover the word on their own. Make flash cards to practice the words out of context or use a word wall to display the words.

The purpose is to add to the students’ sight word bank. Those words could include:

  • gorillas
  • flashlight
  • message
  • crocodiles
  • journey
  • rhyme
  • jaguar
  • umbrella
  • cushions
  • nostrils
  • mischief
  • hiccupped
  • leopard
  • silverback
  • knuckles
  • nervous
  • bamboo
  • vinegar
  • captive
  • language

Use this printable vocabulary worksheet as an assessment tool, homework or seatwork.

Social Studies: Maps and More

Locate Africa on a globe of the world. Then provide students with individual maps of Africa. Instruct them to color the areas of the tropical rain forests in Africa. Use this Public Broadcast website to provide you and your students with information to complete the map.

On the back of the map students should list the characteristics of a rainforest.



Write each animal on a slip of paper and place in a basket. Have pairs or small groups of students choose an animal and find out facts about the animal. Use the library resources, Internet and classroom books to compile information. Students can make a poster of the animal including a picture and information about the animal’s habitat, food, enemies and other facts. Which animals are endangered? Present information to the whole class.


Animal choices: the gorilla, leopard, pygmy hippopotamus, driver ants, African grey parrot, black colobus monkey, African forest elephant.

Creative Writing

Use these story starters for a humorous writing assignment:

  • Our substitute teacher was a gorilla
  • The bus driver was a gorilla
  • I turned my little brother into a gorilla
  • There’s a gorilla in my closet
  • The gorilla escaped from the zoo

Write a rough draft of the story. Edit the story with the teacher or editing partner. Rewrite using correct spelling, punctuation and best handwriting. Include an illustration on a separate sheet of paper.

Sign Language

In Good Morning, Gorillas Jack and Annie had to solve this riddle:

“To find a special kind of magic

In worlds so far apart,

Speak a special language

Talk with your hands and heart.”

The children found out that the special language was sign language! Use this time to discuss why certain people need to use sign language. Then learn a few signs:

Please: Use flat hand and move it in a circular motion on your chest.

Thank you: Touch fingertips of one hand to your chin and pull hand away from chin

Play: Shake both hands in front of your chest with thumb and little finger out and other fingers curled in.

Learn about the famous gorilla named Koko who showed the world that he could communicate using sign language.

This Good Morning Gorillas literature unit will provide many opportunities across the curriculum to meet objectives in your course of study. It is also an enjoyable addition to a favorite book series, The Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne.


1. Rainforest Heroes: This site provides information about rainforest layers, animals and ways to save the Earth’s rainforest areas.

2.Koko Foundation

3.PBS: Exploring Africa’s Rainforest


Tropical rainforest animals:

Rainforest Heroes:

Image Sources:

This post is part of the series: Magic Tree House Book Activities: Travel the World

Jack and Annie found a magic tree house that takes them to different times and places. Use one of their books as a springboard to a science or social studies lesson. Find Magic Tree House book activities here!

  1. Ready, Set, Compete! A Lesson on The Hour of the Olympics
  2. Give Thanks With Annie and Jack in The Magic Tree House
  3. Twister Alert! Tornado Information and Safety Tips for Children
  4. Literature Unit for Good Morning Gorillas