September Pre-K Literature

September – My Friend Gorilla

This month we are reading My Friend Gorilla, by Atsuko Morozumi, during our kindergarten readiness time. The teacher will read the book aloud as your child follows along with his/her copy. In this beautifully illustrated book about feelings, the zoo keeper brings a gorilla home to live with his family. At first, his son is afraid of the large fury visitor, but not for long! Many memories are made.

Book Activities for Pre-Reading Skills and Literature Appreciation

Intro to book (predicting/classifying/reflecting)
As the cover of the book is shown to the children, they will be asked: What do you think the book will be about? What kind of animals do you think will be in the story? Do you think they will be friendly animals? The story will be read aloud by the teacher and each child will follow along with their own copy of the book.

What do you think? (classifying feelings)
The book is read together. The teacher will ask reflective questions like: Would you like to live in the jungle? Would you like to be the gorilla? Why? Why does the gorilla live in a home and not the jungle? What would you do if you were a gorilla? What animals would be your friend?

Gorilla Math (math concepts)
The book is read together. On each page, we will stop and count the individual animals. We will look through the book again and compare the animals: Which one is bigger? smaller? real? stuffed? Other comparative questions will be asked: What animals are the same size? The same color?

Survey Says…(graphing feelings)
The teacher will ask the children which animal in the book is their favorite. The answers will be graphed. There will be a discussion about what animals are the most liked/least liked.

Animals as Pets (classifying animal habits)
As the group looks over the book together, the teacher will pick an animal from each page and ask the children “if someone gave you that animal for a pet, would you keep it? What would you feed it?” After reviewing the whole book, each child will pick one animal that they would like to have the most as their pet.

Talking about animals (classifying animals)
The book is read by the group. The teacher will ask the children what animals live at the zoo, inside a house, in the jungle, and on the farm. The group will look at the numerous animals in the book and each child will answer what animals they like, why/why not, and what do those animals do in the story. The teachers will write responses.

Why Can’t I Have a Gorilla? (classifying animals & sorting)
The group will read the book together. The children will answer what animals would be a good house pet. Why? Why not? The answers will be charted.

Alphabet Soup (letter recognition)
The teacher will lay out A-H foam letters in the middle of a circle and tell the group its alphabet soup. The teacher will then say a letter (A-H) and write it on butcher paper. The children will take turns finding the different letters in the “soup”.

Each page of the book shows a lot of emotion. The group will look at each page and the children will say how the page makes them feel.