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There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.



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HomeClassroom ResourcesCalendar Activities

January 20

On this day in 1910, animal rights activist Joy Adamson was born.

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On this day in 1910, animal rights activist Joy Adamson was born.

Grades K – 6
Calendar Activity Type Historical Figure & Event





Naturalist Joy Adamson's novel Born Free made people aware of the dreadful loss of habitat and wildlife in Kenya, where she and her husband George lived. She pledged all the money earned by her books to wildlife preservation. She was murdered in Kenya on January 3, 1980, by a servant.




Chances are that your students have never seen the movie Born Free. Frequently, younger students do not realize that lions are in the cat family, and this video provides an excellent springboard to a study of cats for students in grades K-2. Create a KWL chart on cats and begin researching these fascinating animals. Students can use the ReadWriteThink Animal Study student interactive to organize the information they gather about lions. Try the Investigating Animals: Using Nonfiction for Inquiry-based Research or Animal Study: From Fiction to Facts lesson plans for more structured activities.

Older students can take action to help ensure the survival of endangered species, such as the Cape Lion, by writing persuasive letters lobbying for programs and resources that protect the animals and their habitats. The Can You Convince Me? Developing Persuasive Writing lesson plan provides all the resources required for such a project.



  • Creature Feature: Lions

    This National Geographic site brings the sounds and images of lions in their natural habitat to your classroom. Resources include audio and video clips.

  • Great Cats

    Learn about the cats who make their home at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Included are links to information about conservation, an image gallery, and a "Tiger Cam."

  • The Vanishing Lions

    This PBS Nature site explores the reasons for the declining population of African lions and searches for solutions to the problem.

  • Lions, from the San Diego Zoo

    The San Diego Zoo site includes details on lions and their lives, fun facts, and conservation efforts. The "At the Zoo" tab offers information on the lions who have lived at the San Diego Zoo.


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Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Predicting and Gathering Information With Nonfiction Texts

Students take a walk on the wild side when they develop an understanding of nonfiction texts with hands-on experiences and intense analysis.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Recurring Lesson

Webcams in the Classroom: Animal Inquiry and Observation

Students observe animals using one of the many webcams broadcasting from zoos and aquariums around the United States and the world, with a focus on observation, discussion, questioning, and research.


Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Persuasive Essay: Environmental Issues

How can we convince others to agree with us on important issues? In this lesson, students explore relevant environmental issues and gather information to write persuasive essays.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Recurring Lesson

Using Word Storms to Explore Vocabulary and Encourage Critical Thinking

Students learn that dogs are more than just pets in this lesson, which teaches them to use research and vocabulary-acquisition strategies to learn and write about working dogs.