“Half a century ago, she journeyed into the Tanzanian jungle to change how the world saw chimpanzees. Today the world’s most famous conservationist is on a mission to save their lives.” P. Tullis–NYT
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
Excerpt: Jane Goodall Is Still Wild at Heart By Paul Tullis -New York Times
“…Within two months of her arrival, Goodall met the paleontologist Louis Leakey…He happened to believe in a hypothesis first put forth by Charles Darwin — that humans and chimpanzees share an evolutionary ancestor. Close study of chimpanzees in the wild, he thought, might tell us something about that common progenitor. He was, in other words, looking for someone to live among Africa’s wild animals. One night at Olduvai, he told Goodall that he knew just the place where she could do it: Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve, in the British colony of Tanganyika (now Tanzania). A forbidding environment, no humans lived there, though it was thought by many locals to be where they would be reborn, after death, as chimpanzees. In July 1960, Goodall boarded a boat, far smaller than the Kenya Castle, and after a few hours motoring over the warm, deep waters of Lake Tanganyika, she stepped onto the pebbly beach at Gombe.
Last summer, almost exactly 54 years later, Jane Goodall was standing on the same beach… The jungle had reclaimed the clearing where she pitched her first tent. A ranger station and a small lodge stood nearby. Just out of sight, carved into the vegetation, were more cinder-block buildings that housed staff, researchers and their labs. Jutting into the lake was now a dock, where a boat was pulling up with a load of day-trippers from Kigoma, a small city to the south. All of this bustle was, of course, a result of the work Goodall began that day in 1960, which continues as one of the longest and most rigorously conducted inquiries into animal behavior.
Gombe’s terrain is extremely rugged. The vegetation is tangled and thick; steep ridges rise abruptly from the lake, as much as 2,500 feet in just a mile and a half. The park cannot be reached by road, and its borders are a long walk from any village. These features make the preserve an Eden for chimpanzees, while mostly keeping people at bay… A couple of hundred yards down the beach from Gombe’s ranger station and lodge, Goodall keeps a small house for herself.
On her most recent visit to Burundi, in 2013, she discussed with the French ambassador, Gerrit van Rossum, the situation with Burundi’s Vyanda Park: Refugees from the country’s decade-long civil war were returning home and building houses in the park and along its edge. She told van Rossum she didn’t think the government could devote the resources to enforce the park’s legal protection. Today, at one meeting, van Rossum told Goodall that after that visit, he persuaded France’s government to come up with the cash to hire park rangers. They would also finance outreach, hoping to persuade residents that conserving the forest would promote tourism and with it, development.
“Can you imagine what it’s like for me to hear, ‘Because of your last visit, we’re doing this work’?” Goodall said.”
I. Pre-Reading Activities
Directions: Have students use the KWL chart to list the information they already know about Jane Goodall. Later in the Post-Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about her from the reading.
II. While Reading Tasks
Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.
- Goodall’s childhood dream was to live among the African wildlife.
- It’s hard not to wonder at the subsequent events in her life.
- Excited and apprehensive, she boarded the ship.
- Her family departed, and at 4 in the afternoon, the ship cast off.
- Most of the passengers were suffering from seasickness.
- Jane Goodall remained at the prow of the ship.
- She would deploy her keen observational skills.
- She was 8 when inspired by the stories of Dr. Doolittle.
- Goodall resolved to live in Africa one day.
- Goodall found her life among chimpanzees very satisfying.
Directions: Review the following statements from the reading. If a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.
- Jane Goodall’s hometown was London England.
- Goodall’s childhood dream was to live among the African wildlife.
- Goodall, at 22, saved for two years to pay for her passage to Kenya.
- Jane Goodall was on a African dock in March 1957 when she realized that her passport was missing.
- The Kenya Castle was the name of the ship Goodall boarded to Africa that year.
- Goodall was inspired by the stories of Crocodile Dundee when she was 8-years-old.
- Within two months of her arrival, Goodall met the paleontologist Sigmund Freud.
- Goodall’s first job was to rise at dawn and spend hours observing the chimpanzees.
- In July 1960 Goodall boarded a boat to Gombe.
- David Graybeard was the name of the first sociologist to meet Goodall.
Grammar Focus: Preposition Exercise
Prepositions: in, for, of, across, with, by, on, at, to, as, into, around, over, from, during, off,
Directions: The following sentences are from the news article. For each sentence choose the correct preposition from the choices presented. Note that not all prepositions listed are in the article.
It’s hard not___ wonder how subsequent events___ her life rather consequential ___they have turned out ___be ___conservation, ___ science, ___ our sense ___ ourselves___a species — might have unfolded differently had someone not found her passport… Then her family departed, and ___4 ___the afternoon, the ship cast___. Twenty-four hours later, ___most ___the passengers were suffering ___seasickness ___their traverse ___the Bay of Biscay, Jane Goodall was ___the prow___ the ship “___ far forward ___one could get,” she wrote ___ her family.
III. Post Reading Tasks
Directions: Have students use the WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.
Who or What is the article about?
Where does the action/event take place?
When does the action/event take place?
Why did the action/event occur?
How did the action/event occur?
Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.
The following 3 statements were taken from the article. Rephrase each statement in your own words, then discuss the meaning with the members of your group.
1. “Last summer, almost exactly 54 years later, Jane Goodall was standing on the same beach… But nearly everything else in sight was different. The jungle had reclaimed the clearing where she pitched her first tent. Jutting into the lake was now a dock, where a boat was pulling up with a load of day-trippers from Kigoma, a small city to the south. All of this bustle was, of course, a result of the work Goodall began that day in 1960, which continues as one of the longest and most rigorously conducted inquiries into animal behavior.”
2. “Gombe’s terrain is extremely rugged. The vegetation is tangled and thick; steep ridges rise abruptly from the lake, as much as 2,500 feet in just a mile and a half. The park cannot be reached by road, and its borders are a long walk from any village. These features make the preserve an Eden for chimpanzees, while mostly keeping people at bay.”
3. “Today the social lives of animals from whales to ants have been abundantly cataloged using Goodall’s methodology, which has helped to set the basic ground rules for contemporary field biology. Goodall herself became the first exemplar — before Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking or Neil deGrasse Tyson — of the pop-culture scientist-communicator. She has inspired countless scientists, from the leader of Save the Elephants to the director of the Orangutan Project, at the same time as she has thrown open the door to other pioneering women in the sciences.”
1-Minute Free Writing Exercise
Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading. Ask them to write down one thing they did not understand in the reading. Review the responses as a class.