Western Lowland Gorillas Lesson Plan

Western Lowland Gorillas Lesson Plan

Created by: Michael Bowman 3LPlace, October 2017

Applies to:  Understanding and Participating in Community (New England)

Purpose:  Follow up our Franklin Park Zoo, Serengeti Crossing lesson by learning about
the critically endangered Western Lowland Gorillas that live at the zoo.


  • Learn about Western Lowland Gorillas.
  • Explore factors which have led to their Critically Endangered status and learn what the World Wildlife Fund is doing to protect them and conserve their habitat.
  • Explore what we can do individually or collectively to help protect these gorillas.
  • Learn about Franklin Park Zoo’s most famous resident, Little Joe and his escape from the zoo in 2003.

Materials needed:

  • Worksheets (see attachments below)
  • Pens, pencils, markers etc.
  • iPad, computer or smart board

Activity Steps:

  1. Watch Western Lowland Gorillas in the Wild, a 3 min video of gorillas in wild 
  2. Watch Western Lowland Gorillas, Ngaga, Odzala, Congo (Part 1), a 6 minute video of gorillas in the wild
  3. Watch Silverback Western Lowland Gorilla Charge & Beating Chest @ Port Lympne - 2010 Gorilla, 30 second video of alpha male display in captivity
  4. Explore Gorilla Family for a slideshow of the gorillas, including Little Joe, currently living at Franklin Park Zoo 
  5. Watch The Great Escape, for a cartoon story of Little Joe’s escape
  6. Watch What do you feed a 350-pound gorilla?, a video about Franklin Park Zoo’s meal prep for their gorillas.
  7. Complete worksheets at table
  8. Decide what, if anything, members want to do to support WWF’s Western Lowland Gorilla conservation such as the WWF’s “Adopt a Gorilla” program 


3LPlace Curriculum Wiki