Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Jane Goodall

I am reading biographies to the second graders all this year. I love introducing them to some of my favorite people who lived amazing lives. This month I am reading Jane Goodall; Living with the Chimps by Julie Fromer and With Love; Ten Heartwarming Stories of Chimpanzees in the Wild by Jane Goodall. Ms. Goodall is 72 years old this year and still does speaking tours and scientific research with her institute, which just won an award from the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund. Her work studying the chimpanzees in the Gombe National Forest in Tanzania, starting in 1960, has changed the way we understand chimps, wildlife, our environment and human beings. She has had a dramatic impact on the world by following her passions and committing herself to her work. I love teaching the second graders about her life because it is fascinating to them and because her work started with her dreams as a child. As a child she wanted to go to Africa and work with animals and that is exactly what she did, by hard work and determination. I love telling them, with their wide open eyes and trustful faces looking up at me, that they can change the world for the better just by following their dreams and living their passions.

Take a look at the Institute website and click on the link to visit Gombe with Google Earth. You will have to download the free software for Google Earth if you don’t already have it, but I promise you it is worth every second it takes. Google Earth is going to blow your mind. You can visit any place in the world, up close and personal, by zooming in from orbiting satellites. The links to Gombe are provided by National Geographic, and link to articles in the Journals detailing the work going on there. When you get finished meeting the chimps and the scientists there, start touring all your other favorite places in the world. I’m warning you, though, you might not want to come home till way past dinner time. Mt. Kilimanjaro is another amazing trip....


Lilian said...

I went and downloaded Google Earth - fascinating. Too bad they don't really have close up views of my country (Brazil).

Jane Goodal is amazing!

Anonymous said...

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