Jean Craighead George

Jean Craighead George


As part of this lesson, you will read a book by Jean Craighead George. She is a naturalist and the author of more than 100 books, including Julie of the Wolves and My Side of the Mountain, the story of a boy and a falcon surviving on a mountain.

As you begin to think about the kind of work you might want to pursue after graduation, you might be interested in animal behavior, ecology, or biology. You might think that scientific work is done only by scientists in a lab, but there are many other options for a career in science. If you are interested in writing, language, and teaching, as well as science, you might consider becoming a children's book author like Jean Craighead George.


As you read one or more books by Jean Craighead George, listen to and read interviews with her, and visit her website, you will come to understand that works of fiction can teach scientific concepts just as well as nonfiction works do.

Begin the lesson by listening to the SB&F Online podcast interview with Jean Craighead George.

Then read these biographies and interviews with the author:

Based on her podcast and written interviews, answer these questions about Jean Craighead George. You can write your responses on the Jean Craighead George student sheet.

  • When and where was she born?
  • How old is she now?
  • How did her family fuel her interest in science and the natural world?
  • What did she study in college?
  • How does she keep up with current scientific topics?
  • Where does she get ideas for her stories?

Before you read a book by Jean Craighead George, go to and read On Writing. You can use this resource to guide your reading of the book.

Knowledge Check

There are many different ways to communicate scientific topics, and writing fictional stories that use science facts is one of them. Write a short sentence about each of the three scientific facts you learned from the book that you read. Then, write a one-paragraph fictional story using the same facts. Share both sets of writing with your classmates, and discuss which of the two methods helped you remember and understand the content better.

This esheet is a part of the Jean Craighead George: Unsentimental Naturalist lesson.

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Esheet Details

Grades State Standards