Project Information

Curriculum Unit Designed by:
Hetty Roessingh

August 30,2011

Theme Title:
Endangered Gorillas

This topic was chosen to facilitate dicussions and comparisons of family units, family interactions, and social actions.

Student Profile of Target Group:

Division Three (ages 12-14)

General Proficiency

Download Resources:

Click here if you wish to download all the resources as a .zip file.

Core Objectives:



gorilla 6





Endangered species & related information


5 w's + h questions (who, what, when, where, why, how)

Conditionals with if... would: If I had a million dollars, I would ...

Present progressive/continuous verbs e.g. walking

If I had a million dollars, I would ...

Present progressive/continuous verbs e.g. walking

Compounds with some, any, no: Someone, anyone, no one

continuous verbs e.g. walking

Simple present tense e.g. walks, runs, jumps, puts


Adjectives/modifiers (size, colour, shape)


Possessives: 's

Nouns, nouns, nouns! nouns to do with sports, hobbies, disasters, love stories, my life before..., faces you should know.

Idiomatic expressions


stating factual information


making suggestions


sequencing communication

Core Objectives:


Advance organization:Previewing the main ideas and concepts of the material to be learned, often by skimming the text for the organizing principle.

Selective attention:Attending to or scanning key words, phrases, linguistic markers, sentences, or types of information.

Self-evaluation:Judging how well one has accomplished a learning task.

Resourcing:Using reference materials such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, or textbooks.

Note taking:Writing down key words and concepts in abbreviated verbal, graphic, or numerical form.

Grouping:Classifying words, terminology, numbers, or concepts according to their attributes.

Imagery:Using visual images (either mental or actual) to understand and remember new information or to make a mental representation of a problem.

Cooperation:Working together with peers to solve a problem, pool information, check a learning task, or get feedback on oral or written performance.

Advance preparation:Rehearsing the language needed for an oral or written task.

Self-monitoring:Checking one's comprehension during listening or reading, or checking one's oral or written production while it is taking place.

Summarizing:Making a mental or written summary of information gained through listening or reading.

Core Objectives:


Concepts List:







Social conventions

Content Specific Concepts:

The gorilla family unit,
Comparison of human/gorilla familial rituals,
Examination of gorillas' position in the wild,
Possiblities for individual social action,rights and responsibilities,
Challenges and opportunites,Adaptations

Material Content

Realia Information:

map of zoo

Audio information:

movie: "Gorillas in the Mist"

Text Information:

The Gorilla Family and the Zoo (adapted from M. Johnston's book),
re-written news articles (3), referenced use of Sy Montgomery's book,
Walking with the Apes, 'The Calgary Zoo' (article from referenced website).'Light Shining through the Mist'(National Geogrpahic Book)by Tom Matthews

Lesson Overview

1. A Look At Families- family collage, background knowledge, sharing,
2. Family Trees -'Kakinga's Family'(article) graphic organizer and Frayer model, accessing background knowledge
3. The Gorilla family and the Zoo - article,modified cloze,questioning levels, compare/contrast chart, verb tenses, suffixes, synonyms, word search 4. "It's Girl!" - adapted article,modified cloze, personal writing, vocabulary development(synonyms), 5 W's,Transition to adaptations, second article,use of QAR,computer search 5. What happens in the Wild?" - use D. Fpssey's photobiography"Light Shining through the Mist', listening practice, LEA, create and work through a research outline on gorillas, 6. A Behind and a Look Ahead - coze assessment, synonyms, extracting information from resources, bibliography creation,report writing, 7. How would I interact with Gorillas if I could? - working with the conditional, writing poetry oral sharing pratice, writing a letter of concern, Video viewing "Gorillas in the Mist" 8. Fossey's Family Flourishes -Adapted text, word cycles,idioms, imperatives,representing 9. A Trip to the Zoo - Gorilla Jeopardy,adverbials, map reading, creating an action plan,collaborative writing, community contact assignment, role playing, 10. The Endangered Species Project - Panel of Experts, components of report writing,planning and preparing a hyperstudio project,portfolio assessment

Learning Tasks

3 level questioning,
vocabulary development,
scaffolding,Frayer model concept understanding, developing research strategies, developing and rehearsing communicative skills, practice grammar structures,develop and increase vocabulary for science,introduce idioms, practice oral presentations,

Assessment Strategies

  • comprehension questions,
  • cloze exercizes,
  • retell/recall,
  • oral presentations, poetry,portfolio samples, collage, personal family tree, research presentation adn representation,informal, anecdotal notes, formative and summative assessment/evaluations

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