Learning about Jane Goodall

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Wednesday, April 3 was Dr. Jane Goodall’s birthday. We took this as an opportunity to learn more about this amazing woman and her work.

Both kids are fascinated with animals and D. ,especially takes issue of endangered animals close to heart.

We read Me…Jane by  Patrick McDonnell (published in 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Caldecott Honor of 2012), which is probably kids’ favorite picture book so far, especially C.’s, she identifies a lot with little Jane. We read the book and talked a lot about wonders that surround us, listened to each other  heartbeats. We also talked about dreams that we have and how we should follow them the best way we can.

Then we read  The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps by Jeanette Winter ( published in 2011 by Schwartz & Wade) which gave more details on Jane’s life and included a few quotes by Jane. Kids were very impressed by the extent of Dr. Goodall’s work.


Activities we did:

Kids were given a task to go and watch animals we have at home (cats and little shrimp D. is raising in a cup of water) and document their observations. C. tried few minutes but in the end she just wanted to play,  D. did a very good job, although he couldn’t help poking the cat to wake him up and see what happens. In the afternoon they also went out and observed horses at the farm near our house and some prairie dogs that run around.


Second task was to think carefully about things they love and are interested in and create an art journal page. I separated a large sheet of paper into a few sections for C. and did the same in D.’s art journal. Kids then set to draw. D. used watercolor pencils for his art journal

D.'s art journal

D.’s art journal

C.'s work

C.’s work

A couple of days ago we watched  Chimpanzee (2012)a wonderful movie from Disneynature. The movie is very good, educational, touching and although sometimes sad, it was ultimately optimistic and life affirming.


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