Meet Temple Grandin

Meet Temple Grandin


In this lesson, you are learning about the life and work of Temple Grandin, an autistic animal-behavior scientist who changed the entire meat-processing food industry through her unusual abilities to understand animals and to visualize designs for humane slaughterhouses.

She credits her autism as endowing her with unusual abilities to focus and to visualize solutions. As you learn about Temple Grandin, think about what it means to think differently—to break away from the pack and risk ridicule to have an original idea and innovate. Think about your own style of innovation.


As you watch three videos, one of Temple Grandin being interviewed, one of her work in meat-packing plants, and one with the book's author, you will see abundant evidence of originality. Both women have "different minds" from most people you see or meet in mainstream society.

Begin by watching the interview where she talks about her cowboy shirts: Temple Grandin and Her Cowboy Shirts.

Next, look at Temple Grandin's ideas being implemented in a meat-packing plant: Video Tour of Beef Plant Featuring Temple Grandin.

Last, to understand the topic of different minds and how Temple Grandin illustrates the concept, watch the interview with the author: Sy Montgomery Talks About Temple Grandin.

Based on your experience viewing these resources, jot down notes to the questions below on your Meet Temple Grandin student sheet and be prepared to share your thoughts in a class discussion:

  • Talking about her cowboy shirts with the interviewer, Temple Grandin said she wasn't going to wear a gown to the Emmy's or Golden Globe awards she won for her work with animals. Why not? What was her answer, and what did she mean by it?  
  • Name some mannerisms you see in the way Temple Grandin talks to people. 
  • In the meat-packing plant video where she is wearing a hard hat, could you see any of the same traits as you did in the cowboy-shirt video?
  • As the animals walked through the meat-packing facility, what did you notice was different about some of the structures in the video, such as the walls?
  • Why is it important to keep animals calm if you are going to kill them anyway? 
  • Recalling the interview with Sy Montgomery, explain how a book about a pink dolphin can be like a book about Temple Grandin?
  • What was the first telephone experience between the author, Sy Montgomery, and Temple Grandin that indicated to Sy that they would get along?
  • Use three words to describe what it was like to be in the squeeze machine for Sy Montgomery.
  • What does Sy Montgomery consider one of the big messages of the book?

This esheet is a part of the Temple Grandin lesson.

Did you find this resource helpful?

Esheet Details