The One and Only Ivan Setting Activity

If you haven’t read The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, you are in for a real treat. The story is told from the perspective of Ivan, a silver back gorilla in a journal-like format.  The reader learns about Ivan’s past through flashbacks, his struggles in the present living in the small confined cage at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, and his dreams for the future. This post contains several teaching ideas to use with the book. 

Anchor Chart

The One and Only Ivan Activities

Throughout his life, Ivan lives in four different places. This anchor chart lists those places. For this chart, the class brainstormed details about each place Ivan lived. Students wrote details on sticky notes. The students then placed the sticky notes on the anchor chart in the correct locations. 

Free Setting Interactive Notebook Activity 

The One and Only Ivan Pocket Activity

The anchor chart activity was such a hit with my students that I decided to make a similar activity for interactive notebooks. The activity contains four pockets naming the four places Ivan lived. Twenty-seven cards with details from the story settings are provided. Students can also write their own details on the blank page of cards included.

In this print-and-go activity, students cut out the pockets and cards. Students fold the the left, right, and bottom flaps toward the back to form the pockets. Students glued them into an interactive notebook.

To complete the activity, students sorted the details in the pockets based on the place the cards describe. 

Stem Project

Amanda Hutson shares her fantastic Stem project idea.

The kids had to design a habitat for “Ivan” and test it to see which habitat could hold the most weight. We used clay, straws, and cardboard. Each student group started with the same amount of materials. We didn’t do it very scientifically as far as the weight goes. We just used chapter books to test and see which group would hold the most. It was fun. 

Great Stem Project to Use with The One and Only Ivan

Free Samples from The One and Only Ivan Book Unit

Free Samples from The One and Only Ivan Book Unit

If you are looking for more resources for your The One and Only Ivan unit, check out the free samples from The One and Only Book Unit.

The One and Only Ivan Book Unit

The One and Only Ivan Book Unit

The One and Only Ivan Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, constructive response writing, and skill practice.


Gay Miller


Permanent link to this article: