I tailor my presentations to fit the grade level of an audience. They generally run 30 to 40 minutes long, with an additional 10 to 15 minutes for questions. For illustrated presentations, I will need a projection screen and a digital projector.
Here are some of my presentations, but I am happy to tailor a program to suit your needs.
What does a writer do? (pre-K – 2nd grade)
I briefly talk about what an author does, the difference between fiction and nonfiction, and read from my picture books. We play with words, rhythm, and rhyme, and together we create a story for all to enjoy.
Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall: These are the seasons; I like ‘em all! (pre-K – 2nd grade)
Why do we have seasons? What do plants, animals, and even kids do in the different seasons? Find out in this fun presentation. Hands-on activities based on the current season are included.
What does a writer do? (3rd – 8th grade)
A more in-depth version of the one I give to the younger kids. Using one of my books as an example, I talk about the process of creating a nonfiction book, from idea to bookshelf. I emphasize the importance of gathering, organizing, and expressing information. Marked-up manuscripts and designers proofs show them that even pros need many drafts to make their work perfect.
Mighty Microbes! (3rd – 8th grade)
Imagine that you drank a magic potion that made all of the human cells in your body invisible. What do you suppose your friends would see?
They would see a ghostly, shimmering zoo of microbes! Your body, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, and just about everywhere in between, is home to trillions of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes. In fact, there are about 10 times more microbes in your body than there are human cells. Based on my book The Good, the Bad, the Slimy: The Secret Life of Microbes, this presentation is an entertaining look at the ways that microbes work for us. I hook my microscope up to my computer and show the kids some real, live microbes, and show them just how yeast make our bread rise.
What’s the Matter With the Universe? (3rd-8th grade)
Do you ever look up at the night sky and wonder about what\’s out there? It may surprise you to learn that everything we can “see” with telescopes and other instruments accounts for 4% of what we know is really out there. What’s the missing matter—nobody knows for sure, but this presentation, based on Stella Brite and the Dark Matter Mystery, explores the current research on one of the most compelling scientific mysteries of our time.
Volcanoes are a blast! (3rd- 8th grade)
From Mount Vesuvius to Mount St. Helens, volcanoes have the potential to shape human history and the nearby landscape. Learn more about the scientists who study volcanoes and how YOU can learn more about volcanoes. Based on Lava Scientist: Careers on the Edge of Volcanoes.
Brrr! Science (3rd-8th grade)
In development; based on Ice Scientist: Careers in the Frozen Antarctic.
Bones: The Real Science behind the TV show (6th – 12th grade)
Based on "Bones: Dead People DO Tell Tales," this presentation gives students a behind-the-scenes look at the ways in which forensic anthropologists solve true crimes. Students get to work with plaster casts of bones to help “solve” a missing persons case. This one’s a lot of fun—but be forewarned, forensic anthropology can get a little gruesome!
DNA & Blood Evidence: The Science Behind CSI (6th – 12th grade)
In development; based on "DNA and Blood: Dead People DO Tell Tales."
Cybercrime: Staying Safe Online (6th – 12th grade)
In development, based on "Cybercrime: Data Trails DO Tell Tales."
Books for younger readers
Books for older readers