Animals in Literature

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This book features an important role model, Dr. Jane Goodall who has elevated awareness about the plight of chimpanzees and environmental conservation. She spent years living with, and observing, chimpanzees in their natural habitat in the forests of Tanzania. Here she discovered just how intelligent chimpanzees were and how similar they are to humans. Reading about Jane Goodall may inspire students to use their curiosity and create a positive impact on their community.

Why use this book?

  • Demonstrates the importance of being curious and observing and exploring one’s own environment. Curiosity can help students be open to others, build understanding and foster empathy.
  • Introduces a positive role model who has shaped the way we view and study animals.

Ask your Students:

  • Young Jane loved being outside and observing animals. What are your interests?
  • How did Dr. Jane Goodall learn about animals?
  • How can you learn more about your interests?
  • What do you think happened in the time between young Jane falling asleep and awaking to her dream come true?


  • When I Grow Up – Young Jane dreamed of a life with, and helping, all animals and grew up to become a primatologist, environmentalist and humanitarian. Have students write a journal entry on what they want kinds of things they hope to do when they grow up, and why (relating it back to their interests).
  • Like Jane – Young Jane loved observing animals! Have students observe an animal (insect, local wildlife, or pet). Have them look at the animal’s physical appearance and watch their behaviours. Using the Observing Animals activity sheet, have them record their observations. Encourage students to share any questions they have about their observation. ADVISE STUDENTS: While observing wildlife, it is critical to not disturb the animal. Remind students to be respectful by giving the animal space, being quiet and observing from a distance. Never touch or feed wildlife as this can result in injury to the animal and person.
  • Curious People – Dr. Jane Goodall’s natural curiosity of animals, specifically chimpanzees, has changed the way the world sees them. Curiosity and innovation is required for artists, musicians, historians, etc. Individually or in groups, have students pick a famous curious person to learn more about. Have students create a poster, blog, or PowerPoint that includes a short biography and the contribution the individual has made to the world.

Additional Resources Related to Book:

  • For additional information on Dr. Jane Goodall visit the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada website
  • For classroom activities and discussion questions related to fostering curiosity click here.
  • Watch a CBC interview with Dr. Jane Goodall here.

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