Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Monkey Unit Study and Lesson Plan

Monkeys! I'd been promising Sebby a unit on Monkeys for a long time. And at last the time arrived. Sam warned me that we might not like monkeys, once we learned more about them—but luckily (perhaps I just knew which information to avoid? we mostly stuck to children's books?) that was not the case. We like monkeys (and apes, of course, but even though we now know the difference we still use the term "monkeys" to refer to both, colloquially!) MORE than ever!

Here are a few miscellaneous resources on monkeys:

The cutest monkey having a bath. Just for fun.

Of course we made monkey bread during this unit. We used this recipe and it was delicious. Can you believe I've never made monkey bread before? Only seen pictures of it. Mmm!

Our favorite gorilla is Koko, of course. I've been learning and reading about her since I was a little girl! And I've also loved the story of Koko and her kitten. (All-ball, of course, but we are also partial to Lips-lipstick.) I know there is some controversy about how much she knows and understands—and how much is wishful thinking or hype or showmanship. And I read a book about some research done with chimpanzees and language, and it was a bit disturbing and made me think it's a good thing there's not much of that going on anymore. It seemed cruel, the way that research played out in the '70s and '80s. BUT—all that said—Koko seems so clearly happy, from all I've seen. And so clearly attached and loving to her human friends. So I still love her, and I think she does understand most of the stuff she seems to understand! Anyway, she is fascinating to learn about! The children and I just loved this video (we found it on YouTube) about her life. Here's another good article about her.
There are some good lesson plan ideas at this Disney Nature site.

This rainforest model (which we made during our Chocolate Unit) would be fun for a Monkey Unit too.

And here is the monkey story Abe wrote when we talked about Monkeys in Folk Tales and Literature.

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