Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life With the Chimps

Winter, Jeanette (Author/Illustrator)
Penguin Random House 2011. 44 pages
First published: 2011
ISBN: 9780375867743 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 590
Book type: Non-Fiction
Book genre: Biography

Text Elements:

character, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Using simple, elegant language, this biography relates Jane Goodall’s respectful, dedicated interest in animals, highlighting fascinating anecdotes throughout the animal researcher’s life. Young readers will appreciate her childhood relationship with a friendly bird in her hometown of London: “When spring came, the robin even built a nest in Jane’s bookcase!” They may relate to her dreams of talking to animals and living like Tarzan.

Artful illustrations use graphic simplicity to portray a fine likeness of Jane, her simple shelter and the forested hills of Tanzania. Broad leaves are battered by silvery strokes of rain, while Jane huddles with chimpanzees: “‘You have to be patient if you want to learn about animals,’ she wrote.” In another spread, she is observing the chimps kissing, laughing and getting mad. Later spreads portray the threats of razed forests and poachers’ guns, while showing Jane at a lecture podium, in her efforts to save the chimps and their home.

An author’s note gives further information about Goodall’s life and work, her books and website.

  •  

    Do a picture walk and describe what you notice. Discuss the reasons why the illustrations start within small frames and then become full-page spreads. Reflect on and revise your thinking as you read.

  •  Using the book and teacher-selected online resources, make a timeline of Jane Goodall’s life.
  •  

    What qualities do you think made Jane a successful scientist? Reread the text, making note of relevant examples.

  •  

    Compare yourself to Jane Goodall. How are you similar and different? Is this a job you would like? Discuss in small groups.

  •  

    Draw a mind map of the vocabulary pertaining to the study of animals.

  •  

    Use a teacher-selected biography graphic organizer to record what you learned about Jane Goodall.

  •  

    From what you learned, create a T-chart character map for Goodall. On one side, write her physical traits and on the other, her character traits.

  •  

    Compare yourself to Jane Goodall. How are you similar and different? Is this a job you would like? Discuss in small groups.

  • To adopt effective work methods
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Ethics and Religious Culture
  • Science and Technology