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Jane Goodall for Kids: Lesson Plans, Lapbook, and Resources for Your Unit Study

My kids loved learning about Jane Goodall! I’m excited to share our unit study resources and hand made lapbook. Read on to find books, activities, and media for your Jane Goodall lesson plans!

Jane Goodall for kids! Lesson plans with DIY lapbook instructions for a Jane Goodall unit study.

Jane Goodall for Kids, Lesson Plans and Lapbook

My oldest is nearly six now and we are learning about Africa with our kindergarten around the world curriculum. We lingered in Africa a little longer than the other continents. One reason is because Jane Goodall and her work with Chimpanzees caught my son’s eye.

For our lessons, we created the lapbook section by section as we read through the books and found information about Goodall online.

The lapbook, book list, and resources here would be appropriate for any elementary unit study about Africa, chimpanzees, or women in science. This could be a project completed over time or as a project for a one day block. (You’d just have to slim down some of the reading!)

Books about Jane Goodall for Kids

We both enjoyed reading about Jane Goodall and her work as a Primatologist (that’s a scientist who studies primates). These are the books that he really got into.


Natures Children by Caroline Greenland
All kinds of facts and a great deal of interesting information about Chimpanzees. We used this with a foldable activity with our lapbook (below).

Chimpanzees by Gareth Stevens Publishing
Easy to read with beautiful photographs of these amazing animals.

The Watcher by Jeanette Winter
Winter does a great job of painting a picture of Jane Goodall and her personality while telling her story. I used this book as an introduction to the scientist, and my oldest was fascinated.

The Chimpanzees I Love by Jane Goodall
We loved being able to read a book by Goodall! We were so excited when he first discovered it at the library. It isn’t often that we get to read books written by the people we are studying. What a great look into Goodall’s life and work with the chimps.

I am Jane Goodall by Brad Meltzer (Author), Christopher Eliopoulos (Illustrator)
Goodall’s story retold in comic book style was instantly eye catching and intriguing to my five year old. He was especially interested in Jane’s childhood and her interest in chickens!

Jane Goodall, Scholastic Nonfiction Reader
An easy read and quick introduction to Goodall and her work. I love to include easy readers in my selections. It’s a different experience for the child to be able to read about a topic we are studying independently. He loved this one!

Resources about Jane Goodall Online

There are a lot of great resources available about Jane Goodall and her work with Chimpanzees and environmental causes. Below is a short biography and a few links to use with your lessons.

Click to view Jane Goodall Mini Biography on YouTube

Read more about Jane Goodall on the following websites:

Jane Goodall Lapbook Activities

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Everything came together when we DIY’d a lapbook about Goodall and Chimpanzees. We used this lapbook as a culminating project, but you don’t have to! The worksheets and foldables work as stand-alone activities, too.


Who? What? Where? When? Foldable

After doing a reading and doing our online research, my son was ready to answer a few simple questions about Jane Goodall. We created a foldable inside a foldable to show what he learned.

  1. Fold a piece of construction paper in half and trim to fit the side panel
  2. Cut four flaps on the right half only and label Who, What, Where, and When (it will open the opposite way of a book)
  3. Fold a piece of copy paper in half lengthwise and cut four sections to fit
  4. Glue each section of copy paper inside the flaps – making sure they open the opposite way (like a book)
  5. Answer the questions on the copy paper and have fun opening and shutting the flaps to reveal the answers

Our questions and answers:

Who: Jane Goodall, (inside) Scientist, Studied Chimps
What: Looked at Chimps, (inside) Found out chimps eat bugs and make tools.
Where: Born in London, (inside) Dreamed of living in Africa, Studied chimps in Tanzania
When: 1934 Born in London, (inside) 1941 Reads Dr. Doolittle, 1957 Goes to Africa
He was very interested in looking at a timeline of Goodall’s life. We will have to incorporate a timeline in our next lapbook!

Fun Facts about Chimpanzees Foldable

We completed this foldable activity while reading Nature’s Children. We’ve been talking more about putting facts “into your own words” lately.

My strategy for this foldable was to read a page or two together, ask him what the most interesting fact was, write down his sentence, and he would illustrate it.

At first it was difficult for him not to repeat a sentence verbatim, but he got there! We’re always working on putting facts into our own words.

To create this foldable:

  1. Fold a piece of construction paper in half lengthwise and trim to fit the interior flap
  2. Fold a piece of copy paper lengthwise and cut four sections
  3. Glue each section into the construction paper so it folds like a book
  4. Decorate and track your facts!

Some facts we learned:

  • Chimps have larger brains than monkeys
  • Chimps hug
  • They live in the thickest part of the African Jungle
  • Chimps eat meat and plants

Complete a Cloze Paragraph about Jane Goodall

A cloze paragraph is a paragraph with a few vocabulary words missing. Write the paragraph and create a word bank of vocabulary words for your child to choose from when completing the senteces.

I wrote a cloze paragraph with a word bank for him on sticker paper. I love using cloze paragraphs. Cloze paragraphs bridge the gap between writing basic, stand-alone sentences and being able to formulate a paragraph. Feel free to use mine or create your own!

Sample Cloze paragraph:

Word Bank: Jane, David, friend, banana, watched
A New Friend
_____ Goodall sat on the peak. She _____ the chimps for a long time. One day a chimp stole a _____ from her tent. She named him _____ Greybeard. He was her first chimpanzee _____.

Printable Links

Here are a few free printable links to help you create your own lapbook:

Learning about Jane Goodall was so inspiring. I loved sharing this lesson with my children.

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