Historical Figure & Event

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

January 20
Calendar Activity Type
Historical Figure & Event

Event Description

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.

Classroom Activity

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.


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

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."

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

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.

Related Resources