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Inspiring a Love of Nature and Learning: Celebrating Jane Goodall

March 26, 2024

Inspiring a Love of Nature and Learning: Celebrating Jane Goodall

At Journeys in Film, we have a discussion guide for the powerful documentary film Jane from director Brett Morgan (running time 90 minutes).

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By Jen Fischer

Growing up, I spent countless hours outdoors and usually on a bicycle. I also developed a rich love of learning, primarily from my mother, a teacher. Another thing I keenly remember is when Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall entered my consciousness, when I began to see women having adventures, leading the way in their respective scientific fields, changing the world. I remember the way they inspired me. They are still inspiring children and youth around the world. Today, we celebrate Jane Goodall, who remains a fierce advocate for the natural world and respect for the interconnected nature of plant, animal and human life.

At Journeys in Film, we have a discussion guide for the powerful documentary film Jane from director Brett Morgan (running time 90 minutes).

Journeys in Film is a nonprofit organization that seeks to help students develop deep knowledge of global issues and current challenges, mitigate existing attitudes of cultural bias and racism, cultivate human empathy and compassion, and prepare for effective participation in the world economy as informed global citizens. Journeys partners with Share My Lesson on webinars and shares educational content on the Share My Lesson website. 

Jane Discussion Guide

Using Jane with Students

Available on Disney+, this film provides an intimate look at Goodall’s life. The film features archival footage that had never been seen before. It tracks her life, her career, her relationships, and her love for her work and for the natural world. It highlights the groundbreaking nature of her work in Tanzania. Goodall has inspired people all over the world, including many children, to become stewards of the natural world and to consider careers in the biological sciences. 

The Journeys in Film discussion guide for the film features a timeline of Goodall’s life and a section on women in the biological sciences, specifically Dian Fossey and Biruté Galdikas. It highlights the ways that knowledge of animals can illuminate how we understand ourselves. Additionally, the guide features media literacy components, specifically regarding the use of music in film, and it highlights Roots & Shoots, Goodall's nonprofit organization. Plus, it includes powerful quotes of Goodall that can inspire the next generation. The guide is available to download for free from Journeys in Film and Share My Lesson.

Celebrating Nature 

The Jane discussion guide is part of a collection of resources that Journeys in Film has available on our website, which all focus on celebrating nature and are appropriate for grades 3-7. 

Environmental Studies Lessons for Grades 7-12

The guide also can be used with older students. We also recommend the Journeys in Film Environmental Lessons collection for grades 7-12. 

Additional Resources 

We recommend this article from Edutopia regarding teaching climate change in the social studies classroom if you are seeking more ways to integrate environmental learning into your classroom. 

Check out this resource from PBS NewsHour on women in STEM, which is available on Share My Lesson. 

The Smithsonian Science Education Center also has some great resources on girls and women in STEM. 

Jen Fischer

About the Author

Jen Fischer is a writer, film producer and teaching artist whose work focuses on highlighting shared human experiences to cultivate empathy and understanding. She is the Director of Programs and Outreach for Journeys In Film. She has developed curriculum for LA’s BEST, the Metta Center for Nonviolence and in conjunction with the Outreach Center for the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, where she received her M.A.

Read Jen's full bio

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