Monkeys in the Classroom

Drawing Monkeys:

When I was a kid I didn’t like to color other people’s drawings. I wanted to make my own! So, I’m not a big fan of coloring sheets. (However you’ll find a few in the Five Little Monkey Super Sticker Activity Book and at: )

Encourage your young artists to DRAW! Provide paper, soft pencils that make a good, strong line. Add color with crayons, watercolor crayons or water-based paints. And see what wonders they’ll create!

Explore your local art store for supplies or: or

<< Click here for a monkey-drawing project!

Compare and Contrast:

One advantage to reading several books about the same characters is that you can discuss with students things they find in the books that are the same or different.

Which monkey books does Mama sleep through?


5LM Sitting in a Tree, Bake a Cake, Wash the Car

In which stories are the monkeys trying to be helpful?


5LM With Nothing to Do, Wash the Car


Which stories rhyme?


5LM Jumping on the Bed, Sitting in a Tree, Wash the Car, Reading in Bed

Silly Words!

Five Little Monkeys Jumping in the Bath has some very silly-sounding words like “…icky, sticky, yucky, mucky monkeys”. Can you say those words really fast? Do you like the way they sound? Do they make you laugh?

Can you think of some other silly words you like? Can you use them in a story?

I subscribe to Merriam Webster’s Word of the Day:

Every day a new word comes in my e-mail. Today’s word was ‘kaput’. A few weeks ago, ‘bumbershoot’ was the word. Both are words I’d like to use in a story! Do you know what those words mean? NO? Look them up in your dictionary.

Can you think of a story using both words? Don’t forget to draw a picture!


Icky, sticky, yucky, mucky are synonyms—words with the same or similar meaning. When I wrote Five Little Monkeys Reading in Bed, I also used synonyms—like cry, sob, bawl, weep. Read the story. Can you find the synonyms I’ve used?

Sometimes, when I’m looking for words, I pull out my Thesaurus—a dictionary of synonyms.

Rhyming words:

Some of the monkey books are written in rhyme, others are not. When I start writing, I never know which it will be. Some stories just sound better in rhyme.

Read Five Little Monkeys Play Hide-and-Seek or…Wash the Car or…Reading in Bed.

As you read, can you predict what the rhyming word will be? Can you think of other words that rhyme with those words? Don’t hesitate to pull out the rhyming dictionary; I always do!

Writing Monkey Stories:

All writers need to know their characters.

Read a selection of monkey stories. Are the monkeys: Mischievous? Naughty? Silly? Kind? Helpful?

Would you like them as friends or classmates? Why? Why not?


—What would happen if the monkeys were students in your class?

—What would happen if they were in a school play? (Kids will have lots of other ideas! )

Now, write the story! And be sure to illustrate it!


The Five Little Monkeys website has directions for making puppets. Try making them with student drawings. Have students act out their stories with their puppets.

Monkey Math

Most of the monkey books involve numbers!

5-1=4, 4-1=3, 3-1=2, etc.

The two rhymes, Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed and Five Little Monkeys Sitting in the Tree are good to use when discussing the take-away model of subtraction. The events in the story are as predictable as the number patterns.

Can you count to 104?

Help Lulu, the babysitter, count in Five Little Monkeys Play Hide-and-Seek.

Missing Monkey Math

Read Five Little Monkeys Go Shopping and use your math skills to help Mama keep track of her little monkeys.

Five Little Monkeys Super Sticker Activity Book:

More than 80 pages of fun! Learn how to draw a monkey and there are drawing, writing and counting activities, punch-out finger puppets and monkey card game and more than 350 colorful stickers!

Order it from any bookstore: ISBN: 978-0-547-14419-1

The Five Little Monkeys have their own Website!