This week’s theme:
Adventurous People – David Attenborough and Jane Goodall
This week’s colouring in sheet:
Download and print this week’s colouring sheet here.
David Attenborough and Jane Goodall are such fascinating people that we’ve made this topic into a 2-week spectacular. Feel free to use any of the below activities to span over 2 weeks.
Activities for the fortnight…
Fact of the fortnight: David Attenborough and Jane Goodall have both educated the public on the world of animals and our natural environment.
Sir David Attenborough (born in 1926, making him an amazing 94 years old) is a TV and radio broadcaster and natural historian. Natural Historians study and observe animals, fungi, and plants in their natural environment. David is best known for writing and presenting natural history documentaries.
Watch this video for a very catchy song about David Attenborough that explains a bit about him and what he does. How many different animals, plants, and environments can you spot in the video? Try drawing as many as you can, or making cardboard puppets of them like in the video.
Jane Goodall is a primatologist which means that she studies primates. Primates range in size from Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur, which is tiny and weighs 30g (about the weight of 30 paperclips), to the huge eastern gorilla, weighing over 200kg (more than 2 large men).
David Attenborough is famous for his narration of nature documentaries, such as ‘Our Planet’ on the BBC. Here is a clip from ‘Our Planet’, where David Attenborough talks about Narwhals.
Find a video clip of animals that you love and see if you can narrate it like David Attenborough. You could look up some facts to add to your narration. Here are some more examples from ‘Our Planet’ and ‘Planet Earth’ that you can mute and have a go at narrating: Otters. Cheetahs. Birds of Paradise. Humpback Whales. Polar Bears. Snow Leopard.
You could try narrating anything like David Attenborough. All you need is a slow, calm and reassuring voice to give a voice-over to anything at all. He’s had a go at narrating Adele’s music video, could you have a go at describing or narrating a video, or TV show on mute, or even what you can see you neighbours doing from your window.
David Attenborough has several species (both living and extinct) named after him, such as a soil snail (Palaina attenboroughi), a bird (Polioptila attenboroughi), a millimetre-long goblin spider (Prethopalpus attenboroughi) and a species of Ecuadorian flowering tree (Blakea attenboroughi). Imagine you have discovered a new animal or plant – you could name it after yourself! Draw your plant or animal, give it a name, and label all of its features! Once you know what it is, what it looks like, where it’s found, what it eats, what its family structure is like, could you narrate a short description of it?
Jane Goodall famously went on a research trip to the forest of Gombe (Tanzania) in 1960 that changed how we understand chimpanzees forever! Chimpanzees are very similar to humans, and Jane Goodall discovered that they all have different personalities and they even make and use tools just like humans. Watch these 2 videos about Jane Goodall’s life and work: here and here.
Act out some of Jane’s observations… Can you mimic the greeting call of a chimp. Try moving like a chimp using your whole body. Can you act shy, aggressive, or mischievous. Act out different emotions that chimps share with us – happiness, sadness, fear. Can you practice making instrument noises that change from loud to quiet to loud like chimp calls.
Jane’s research tent was full of objects and African sounds. Look at the reconstruction of it here. What useful objects can you spot and how do you think they’d be used? What other objects would you take on a trip to Tanzania to study chimps?
Jane Goodall has an initiative called ‘Roots and Shoots’, whose mission is ‘to empower young people to affect positive change in their communities’. They have ‘1-click actions’ – easy things anyone can do to help make the world a better place!
Why not try this 1-click action? Write a positive letter or card for someone in your life – it could be a friend, a family member, a neighbour. Sending positivity, kindness and support will make them and you feel good! You could hand deliver your letter, or send it in the post.
David Attenborough and Jane Goodall are both activists – they work to educate people about the natural world and how we can help save environments and the animals that live in them. David Attenborough’s documentaries are an example of him using art to educate others, by using filmmaking to show the effects of climate change.
Think of something you would like to be an activist of – something you would like to educate people about to inspire positive change. Now choose an artistic way of spreading your message. You could write a song or a poem, do a painting or drawing, write a story, or make a film like David Attenborough!
Jane Goodall is a Dr, and she wrote her Doctoral thesis on ‘Behaviour of free-living chimpanzees’, which means she did research into chimpanzees that had never been done before! Find a fact about chimpanzees that you don’t think anyone else will know and make a poster telling everyone about it.
Jane Goodall worked with monkeys, a famous fictional monkey is King Louie from the Jungle Book! Listen to his song ‘I wanna be like you’ and learn the chorus to sing along, and develop a dance routine for it! Make big band instruments to play along: Trumpet, Drums, Guitar, Microphone.
Create a scene based on David Attenborough’s ‘What a Wonderful World’. Choose what natural world scenes you could act out – swarms of fish in the ocean, flowers blooming, a lion hunting, meerkats peeking, polar bears walking, etc. Learn some of the lyrics from the song to sing along as you’re acting out the animal scenes. You could even put together some animal costumes or masks to wear.
Jane learned of the plight facing wild chimpanzees all across Africa—they were disappearing. The four main threats to chimpanzees in the wild are loss of their habitat (where they live), disease, hunting, and people illegally moving them from their habitat.
Choose an endangered animal from this list (warning, it makes for depressing reading). Learn one or two things about them/their movement/their habitat, and come up with a play or poem or song about saving your chosen endangered species. Or, make a ‘save our [endangered species]’ placards for a purple protest, or a chant.
Why not take a photo of any of the activities you’ve tried this week and share it with us? You can share it on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter or send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put it online for you!