On-site Program

The One and Only Ivan (4-6)

Inspired by the novel “The One and Only Ivan” by K.A. Applegate, this program compares the life of Ivan from the story to our gorilla troop here at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo. We will be discussing themes of the book; therefore it is best if students have finished the book or movie prior to arriving for the program. We will guide students through the process of analyzing the question, “What is the role of modern accredited zoos?” through initial brainstorming, thoughtful discussion, and observation of the gorilla residents and their habitat.

**Students should be familiar with the story of Ivan. Ideally classes have completed the novel, the short story book, or have watched the film. This program contains spoilers.

Length: 90 minutes
Program times: 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m.
Maximum students: 32

  • October-March: $240
  • April-June: $295

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Curricular Connections

English Language Arts

  • Old Curriculum
    • Express ideas and develop understanding
    • Use prior knowledge
    • Experience various texts and relate texts to culture


  • Old Curriculum
    • Examine the social, cultural, and linguistic characteristics that affect quality of life in communities in other parts of the world


  • New Curriculum
    • Grade 4: Analyze and describe how plants and animals interact with each other and within environments
    • Grade 5: Analyze organisms and relate external structures to functions
    • Investigate the internal systems of organisms and explain how they support vital biological processes

On-Site Program Information and FAQ