Kindergarten - Science - Animals and Their Needs (continuation) - Overview

This month there is one science biography lesson on Jane Goodall.

The Core Knowledge February Scope and Sequence states that this month's science lessons should be a continuation of lessons started in January on Animals and Their Needs. Therefore, the teacher should complete any lessons from January that have not yet been covered. If all the lessons from January are complete, the following is a list of suggestions for extension activities. They are not written in formal lessons as they are merely suggestions for continuing the study on animals. They are intended as a pick and choose type of list. These suggestions do not come from the Core Knowledge content.


Extension ideas.


Kindergarten - Science Lesson 26 - Jane Goodall


Identify Jane Goodall as a scientist who studies the behavior of chimpanzees.

Listen to a biography of Jane Goodall.

Participate in an animal observation activity.


A book about Jane Goodall

Drawing paper (one piece per student)

Crayons or markers

Suggested Titles

Birnbaum, Bette. Jane Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees. Milwaukee: Raintree, 1989.

This is an excellent read-aloud book about the life and work of Jane Goodall.

Brassy, Richard. How to Speak Chimpanzee. New York: Crown, 1995.

This is a fun book to share with children. It is full of illustrations of chimpanzee facial expressions and what they mean.

Goodall, Jane. The Chimpanzee Family Book. Saxonville, MA: Picture Book Studio, 1989.

Similar in content to Goodall's book Chimps, this book is appropriate to share with your students. It does not contain information on the life of Jane Goodall.

Goodall, Jane. Chimps. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989.

This small paperback book is written for children. It is a nice book to share with your students. However, it does not give much information about Goodall.

Senn, J.A. Jane Goodall, Naturalist. Woodbridge, Conn.: Blackbirch Press, 1993.

This chapter book contains anecdotes about Goodall's life. You may wish to choose portions of the book to read aloud. The photographs are most interesting.


Say: We have been learning about animals and their needs. Today we are going to learn about a scientist who has spent her life studying animals. This woman scientist is named Jane Goodall.

Read one of the books about Jane Goodall. If you do not have access to one of the titles listed above, What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know by E.D. Hirsch, has a good two-page biography appropriate for reading aloud.

If you do not have access to a biography about Jane Goodall share the following information with your class.

When Jane Goodall was a little girl, she loved to watch animals. She hid in a hen house for hours hoping to see how a chicken lays eggs. She brought earthworms into her house to see how they move. When she read The Story of Dr. Doolittle, a book about an imaginary doctor who goes to Africa and learns to talk with the animals, she decided that was what she wanted to do too.

When Jane Goodall grew up she went to Africa. She was especially interested in studying apes and chimpanzees. Since their bodies are so much like human bodies, she thought that we could learn a lot from the chimpanzees.


Kindergarten - Science Lesson 26 - Jane Goodall

She went to a part of Africa where hunters were not allowed and where a group of chimpanzees lived. She was very patient. For many months the chimpanzees were scared of her, but slowly they came to trust her. After a year of watching the chimpanzees from far away with binoculars, the chimps let Jane come close to them, but not close enough to touch. After two years they knew her well enough that they would eat the bananas she put out for them near her house.

The more the chimpanzees trusted Jane, the more she saw how they really lived. She learned a lot about chimpanzees that people didn't know before. She saw chimpanzees making tools. For example, chimpanzees know how to make tools to catch red termites which they love to eat. They break off long, thin twigs or pieces of grass and poke them down into the holes like a fishing pole for termites! Before Jane Goodall saw this, no one believed that chimpanzees made tools.

Jane Goodall has now spent almost forty years living in Africa and watching the chimpanzees. She recognizes the chimps, and even calls many by name, like David Greybeard, Goliath, and Honey Bee.

Following the reading of the biography of Jane Goodall, review lessons from January History/Geography about the continent of Africa. Children should be able to locate the continent on a world map. Jane Goodall studies chimpanzees in the country of Tanzania; locate this country on the map for the children.

Discuss the word patient and how Jane Goodall was patient in her studying of the chimpanzees.

Bring in a pair of binoculars if available. Allow children to look through them so they can understand how Goodall was able to study the chimpanzees from far away until she won their trust.

Suggested Follow-Up Activity

Allow children an opportunity to observe an animal as Jane Goodall did. If you have a classroom pet set up in your room, it could be your subject. If you do not have a classroom pet, try to borrow one from another classroom, or bring in a pet from home. Challenge children to sit quietly and be patient while watching the animal. Children should draw pictures of their observations. (See February Art/Craft lesson for further exploration of animal observation.)

Read and learn more about apes and chimpanzees. See Suggested Titles above for more books on the behaviors of chimps.

Read a few of Anthony Browne's Willy books. Willy is a chimpanzee with human characteristics. The books are fun to read and beautifully illustrated. They also are good springboards to discussions about friendship, bullies, and other childhood situations. Look for Willy & Hugh, Willy the Wimp, and Willy the Champ; all are published by Knopf .