- By Beata Klarowska, M.S. CCC-SLP
- Wednesday, October 05, 2016
Language activities with the Good Night, Gorilla
Books are a great way of encouraging language and reading in
children. Books help children learn new vocabulary, and help them with
imaginative play as they can act out the story they read or heard.
The Good Night, Gorilla book by Peggy Rathmann is a
wordless book that provides unlimited language opportunities for children.
Children can learn and practice the following:
Vocabulary : Zoo, zookeeper, gorilla, elephant, lion,
giraffe, armadillo, hyena, mouse, cage, rope, bike, tire, thread, flashlight,
night, keys, nightgown, dark, floor, curtain, bed, lamp, rug, yard, trees,
follow, scream, etc.
Phrases: Gorilla in. Gorilla hold. Gorilla open.
Gorilla walk. Elephant sit. Etc.
Sentence Structure: The gorilla has keys. The gorilla
opened the cage. The mouse holds a banana. The zookeeper has a flashlight. Etc.
What is the gorilla holding?
Where is the gorilla? Where is the elephant?
What is the zookeeper holding?
How is the mouse carrying a banana?
Who is holding a flashlight?
What toys do you see inside the elephant’s cage? Etc.
Discussions and drawing conclusions:
Why do you think the gorilla opened all the cages?
Why are the animals following the zookeeper to his house?
How did the mouse get the banana from this tall banana tree?
Why do you think the zookeeper didn’t realize that the
animals are following him?
Why was zookeeper’s wife screaming?
Why did the wife of the zookeeper take all the animals back
to the zoo?
Why can’t zoo or jungle animals live with people?
How do we know it is night?
What would you do if the zoo animals followed you home?
If you could pick one zoo animal to take home, which one
would you pick and why?
Before moving to the next page, ask the child what might
Ask a child to come up with their own version of the story
by looking at pictures.
Gather a few jungle animals and act out the story or make up
Practice your targeted language concepts or vocabulary by playing
with the jungle animals in the following scenarios:
Pretend to be a zookeeper and care for the animals by giving them a
pretend bath, feeding them, and taking care of their health. With this
activity, one can work on imaginary play, following directions (e.g., give an
apple to the elephant, etc.), and answering questions.
Hide the animals in the room and have the child find them and state
where the animals were hiding.
Put the animals inside the transparent box and describe what animal the
child should take outside for a walk, such as “Get the animal with a long neck
out of the box,” etc.
Put the animals in the box covered with a scarf or a light blanket (“to
create night”) and have the child use the flashlight to find and name animals
or describe them to you.