- The average male gorilla stands between 5 and 7 feet.
- The arm span of an average male gorilla is almost 9 feet!
- The average male gorilla eats over 40 pounds of food per day, the average American person eats 5-6 pounds of food per day.
- Gorillas are herbivores - they eat leaves, shoots, roots, vines and fruits.
- The lifespan of an average male gorilla is 35 years. Ivan lived to be 50 years old.
- There are 4 subspecies of gorillas: Eastern lowland, Mountain, Western lowland, Cross River.
- Gorillas are an endangered species, there are less than 300 Cross River gorillas left in the world.
- The One and Only Ivan is fictional, but was inspired by a true story.
- Ivan was a male Western lowland gorilla.
- Ivan was captured in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Ivan and (what is believed to be) his sister were captured as infants and brought to the United States. Ivan's sister died shortly after arriving.
- Ivan was raised in a home until he became too big and unmanageable. He was moved to the B&I Circus Store in Tacoma, Washington.
- Ivan's cage in Tacoma was only 40 feet by 40 feet!
- Ivan spent 27 years alone in his cage without seeing another of his kind.
- When the mall where Ivan lived went bankrupt (they didn't have any money), he was moved to the Zoo Atlanta. Before his move to Atlanta, Georgia, Ivan spent a short time at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
My second graders are currently reading The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate with their classroom teacher and I wanted to amp up excitement about the book.
Initially, I had intended to simply put up the cover of the book and add some interesting facts about the real Ivan. Wait, Ivan was real? He sure was. Check out the Katherine Applegate's webite, she has a great deal of information about the real Ivan. She also has a new book coming out in October 2014 - Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla.
In true librarian form, the more research I did, the more excited I got about the One and Only Ivan bulletin board. I ended up with a slew of facts about not only the real Ivan, but about the gorilla population, as a whole. I also added an (almost) life-size cut out of a gorilla. The paper gorilla ended up being 5'4" with an arm span of 8 feet.
I used an overhead projector to trace the gorilla and then free-hand cut his face out of a piece of gray construction paper.
The board has been up for two days now and people have constantly been coming in to share their excitement! I love watching the kiddos stand there and reading all the interesting facts, it has been far more engaging than I ever anticipated. The facts include:
I did include a citation sheet on my bulletin board so I could model that behavior for students. I found my information on the following sites:
Friday, September 19, 2014
Original graphic by @jenniferlagarde.
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Sunday, September 7, 2014
The library menagerie is constantly growing...
They brighten our spirits, make wonderful reading buddies, create perfect opportunities to connect with hesitant little ones, and bring already fun stories to life.
I have known about Jellycat for a few years now and my wish list of Jellycat critters to be added to the menagerie is constantly growing. I have been hinting to my husband about these creatures, in particular, for some time now...
Oh, the possibilities of storytime fun...
If you don't have a fluffy zoo in your library yet, I would highly suggest it. It opens opportunities and connections I would never have dreamt possible.
Saturday, September 6, 2014
I love Powell's Books. Seriously. If I lived in Portland, I would be in HUGE trouble.
If you haven't been there and you're a major bibliophile like me, it's a must on your bucket list. Plan to literally get lost among books. It's a beautiful thing.
Another beautiful thing? They sell the best book-themed apparel. It's not a huge selection, but what they have rocks. And they generally print on super high quality fabric that is gloriously soft. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.
My husband has literally worn out his Powell's shirt he loves it so much.
When my latest Powell's shirt arrived, I needed to celebrate it's cuteness by dressing like a fire-breathing dragon for our lower school assembly. Now, a normal person would have a topic in mind for assembly announcements and then plan a costume based on that topic. Nope, not me. I wanted to dress like a dragon. Soooo... I pulled all of my favorite dragon-themed books and told the kiddos how awesome they all were. They were chomping at the bit to check the books out and I got to wear my dragon outfit. Win, win. Thanks, Powell's Books! Want your own shirt? Find them here.
- Shirt from Powell's Books
- Felt hat from Joann Fabrics (I bought this in-store during late summer 2014), I'm going to attempt to make these, so check back for a tutorial
- Fire-breathing apparatus: Cut a hole in the bottom of a paper cup, tape red crepe or tissue paper strips to the lip of the cup. Blow through the hole to get the flames to dance... Much to the astonishment of all.