The One and Only Ivan Novel Study and Unit Plan

The One and Only Ivan is one of our favorite books. I’ve written about it before in Five Reasons to Read The One and Only Ivan in Your Classroom.

Winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller, this stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendships. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point-of-view of Ivan himself.

Harper Collins Children’s Books

The One and Only Ivan Novel Study Unit Planivan

Overview of the Unit
The unit plan for The One and Only Ivan, winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal, is designed to engage students. Students are provided opportunities to analyze settings, identify, describe and analyze characters and their relationships, determine emerging themes, and use text references and quotes to infer meaning. The unit employs multiple delivery modalities, facilitates students’ cognitive thinking skills, and uses a constructivist approach to teaching and learning. Lesson plans are student-centered and are ready to implement.

Time Frame
This unit is planned as a 3½ week unit, however, it is easily adaptable to 4 to 6 weeks.

Grade Level Appropriateness
Grades 3-6 grade

Unit Includes:
• Instructional Schedule for Unit Plan
• 12 Lesson Plans with instructional guide and reproducible student handouts
• Introducing the Novel Lesson
• Setting Analysis Lesson
• Character Analysis Lesson
• Ivan-isms Lesson
• Habitats, Groups, and Offspring Lesson
• Pair Read Aloud & Prediction Lesson
• Friendship Lesson
• Ivan’s Letters Lesson
• Novel Quotes Lesson
• Ivan’s Many Families Lesson
• Pair Read Aloud and Face-to-Face Slide-By Lesson
• Ivan’s Billboard Lesson
• Summative Assessment w/Rubric
• 1 (19 page) Reproducible Student Literary Log
• 16 Reproducible Student Bookmarks
• Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts that Connect to the Unit
• Best Practice Research that Relates to the Unit
• Unit PowerPoint to Guide Daily Lessons w/Teacher Guide
• Formative Assessment PowerPoint (includes 3 quizzes) w/Teacher Guide and Answer Key

1 – PDF (116 page) Unit Plan
• 1 – Unit Plan PowerPoint (101 slides) to Guide Daily Lessons
• 1 – PDF Teacher Guide to Unit Plan PowerPoint
• 1 – PowerPoint (48 slides) for Formative Assessment Game (includes 3 quizzes)
• 1 – PDF Teacher Guide and Answer Key to Formative Assessment Game

Download Free Bookmarks for The One and Only Ivan.

ivan bookmarks


We have received positive feedback.

ivan review

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Leave a comment


  1. Reblogged this on Surviving to Thriving LjL and commented:
    The One and Only Ivan is a charming story for both children and adults. It’s beautifully written and ideal for a read-aloud. This book and unit could be an awesome way to end the school year.


  1. We Love Ivan | Thriving LjL
  2. We Love Ivan | From Surviving to Thriving

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