Thematic Literature-Based Lesson Plan

Curious George Goes to the Hospital, by Margret and H. A. Rey, Scholastic Book Services, 1968
Readers learn all about the hospital as George goes in for an operation to remove a puzzle piece he has eaten.

The Reys created this book at the request of the Boston Children's Hospitals. The book was difficult to write, but it has reduced the fears of many children going to the hospital for the first time. 

  •      To understand that hospitals are not scary
  •      To gain an appreciation of the value that literature has in society today
  •      To use Curious George to motivate the students to learn in all subject areas
NCTM/IRA Standards:

5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

8. Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.

9.Students develop an understanding of and respect for diversity in language use, patterns, and dialects across cultures, ethnic groups, geographic regions, and social roles.

12.Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).
Contemporary Issues:
  • Preparing for going to the hospital is essential
  • Learning is important
  • Being curious is good, but sometimes leads to trouble

Classroom Activities:
  • Listening and Speaking:
         In the book, George entertains the children in the play room with a puppet show. Have the students create their own skit and act it out. Make sure the use correct grammar and allow each other to take turns speaking.

    DECA Speaking Standards
         5. recognize and use correct grammar when speaking.
         6. follow simple rules for conversations: (example: taking turns, listening)
         7. use complete sentences when speaking.
    DECA Fine Art Standard One
         Benchmark 1.  Understand that art tells stories, expresses moods, or conveys ideas.
  • Reading
         Using the main character from the book, refresh the students memory of the alphabet with the book Curious George's ABCs.  Refresh the children's memory about upper and lowercase letters. Distribute the Curious George Learns the Alphabet Word Game Worksheet and read all the text out loud. Play a game of Curious Georges Upper and Lower Case Concentration Game.

    Curious George Learns the Alphabet Word Game

    DECA Reading Standard
         1. name all upper and lower case letters and identify the representative sounds.
  • Writing:
         After discussing the story and how Curious George seems to get into mischief, have the students write their own stories about the mischievous little monkey. Distribute the My Own Curious George Story Worksheet and read the directions out loud.
         Discuss acrostic poems and have them write a poem about their own name after seeing the Curious George example. Distribute Curious George Acrostic Poem Worksheet, read the directions and the text out loud.

    Curious George Acrostic Poem Worksheet
    My Curious George Story Worksheet

    DECA Writing Standards
         1. name all upper and lower case letters and identify the representative sounds.
         5. use pictures, illustrations, and personal knowledge to make and confirm predictions about stories.
         8. identify the role of both the author and illustrator.
        13. identify the characteristics of a variety of simple genres. (example: fairy tales, poems)
  • Social Studies:
    Since the whole book is about Curious George going to the hospital, have the group create a map showing the way from the school to the hospital. Be sure to mention things on a map such as roads, schools, parks.
         Sticking with the Curious George theme, read Curious George's Opposites. Discuss opposites as it relates to the size and location of people, places, and things. Dispute the Curious George's Opposite Worksheet. Read the direction and the text out loud and then allow time for the students to complete.

    Curious George's Opposite Worksheet

    DECA Geography Standard
         1. compare and contrast the relative size and location of people, places, and things by identifying here/there, near/far, up/down, left/right, and behind/in front.
         2. use a map and map symbols to recognize directions, continents, and poles.
         3. use map symbols to recognize land, water, roads, and cities.


  • Science:
         In the book, George has to have a operation to remove the puzzle piece he swallowed. Have the children play the game of Operation after discussing what each parts which they are taking out.
         Since Curious George is a monkey, Have the students read nonfiction picture books about monkeys. Then discuss what they learned and create a class list of how monkeys and humans are similar and different.
         If time allows and there is a hospital near by, take a trip to the hospital. After returning, have the students make a list of community health helpers.

    DECA Health Education Standard
         1. Indicator 2, Bench Mark A. identify major body parts and related functions (e.g., heart—pumping blood)
         1. Indicator 3, Bench Mark A
    . list various community health and safety helpers, e.g., nurse, police, firefighter, doctor, dentist.
    DECA Life Science Standards
         2. describe the basic needs of living organisms.
         3. recognize similarities and differences in diverse species.
  • Mathematics:
         In the book the man in the yellow hat buys a jigsaw puzzle. Puzzles are made up of different patterns an
    d shapes. Discuss different shapes and patterns. Have the students complete Curious George Preschool Learning Games Puzzler Game. Once this activity is completed, distribute A Puzzle for Curious George worksheet. Read the directions aloud and have the students complete the worksheet.
         Distribute the Curious George Addition and Subtraction Worksheet with the answers filled in to the problems. Discus the + and the - sign. Have the students complete the last part of the worksheet.

    Curious Georges Addition and Subtraction Worksheet:

    DECA Math Standards
         Geometry Standard
              1. identify and draw plane geometric figures. (example: square, rectangle, circle, triangle)
              5. explore various geometic patterns.
         Algebra Standard
              4. recognize and explain + and - symbols.
  • Art/Music
         Curious George is a monkey, and one of his favorite songs is the Ten Little Monkeys. Have the students sing the Ten Little Monkey song. The lyrics can be found on the Curious George Website.

    Curious George's Favorite Song Ten Little Monkeys:

    DECA Fine Arts Music Standard 1
         Bench Mark A. sing and match a simple melodic pattern in their vocal range.
         Bench Mark D. use their voices expressively as they speak, chant, and sing.
    DECA Speaking Standards
         3. participate in choral speaking and recite short poems, rhymes, songs, and stories with repeated patterns.
  • Special Activities
     Birthday Party for Curious George, Have the students color invitations for the community
         Curious George Maze
         Curious George Banana Bread
         Book Report
         Something from Something Word Builder
         Read and then Compare and Contrast the two authors single books


Literature Links

Other Curious George Books by Margret & H.A. Rey
     Curious George
     Curious George Flies a Kite
     Curious George Rides a Bike
     Curious George Learns the Alphabet
     Curious George and the Bunny
     Curious George Opposites
     Curious George Are You Curious?
     Curious George ABCs
     Curious George and the Rocket
     Curious George Goes Fishing
     Curious George 1 to 10 and Back Again
     Curious George Rides
     Curious George Goes to a Chocolate Factory
     Curious George and the Puppies
     Curious George Goes to the Movie
     Curious George in the Snow
     Curious George Makes Pancakes
     Curious George Feeds the Animals
     Curious George Hot Air Balloon
     Curious George Dreams
     Curious George at the Parade
     Curious George Goes to the Beach
     Curious George Visits the Zoo
     Curious George At the Fire Station
     Curious George Plays Baseball
     Curious George and the Pizza
     Curious George and the Dinosaur
     Curious George Goes to an Ice Cream Shop
     Curious George Goes to School
     Curious George Goes to a Costume Party
     Curious George in the Big City

Other Books By by Margret Rey
    Pretzel (Author)

Other Books by or Illistrated by H.A. Rey
     Any One Home
     Cecily G. and the 9 Monkeys
     The Stars
     The Constellations
     Katy No-Pockets (illustrator)
     Pretzel (illustrator)
     How Do You Get There
     Feed the Animals

Suggested Monkey Books
     The Chimpanzees I Love: Saving Their World and Ours, by Jane Goodall
     The Chimpanzee Family Book (The Animal Family Series), by Jane Goodall, Michael Neugebauer (Photographer), Lessie J. Little
     Ten Little Monkeys, Dalmatian Press; Board edition (May 2002)

Suggested Hospital Books
     Going to the Hospital (Rogers, Fred. First Experiences.), by Fred Rogers, Jim Judkis (Photographer), Jim Judkins (Photographer)
     Going to the Hospital (Usborne First Experiences), by Anne Civardi, Michelle Bates (Editor), Stephen Cartwright (Illustrator), Anne Cavardi



Internet Sites:

Curious George Official Web Site:

Curious George 4 All (Graphics)

Diane Taylor Collection featuring Curious George

Curious George WebRing

Todd's Curious George Galore

South Dakota Content Standards


Curious George Awards:
  • Curious George
    • Best Picture Book by the Children's Choice Award held by School Library Journal, 1987
    • Notable book by the American Library Association, 1987
  • Curious George Takes a Job
    • Lewis Carrol Shelf Award, 1960
  • Curious George Goes to the Hospital
    • Children's book award, Child Study Association of America, 1966