Schools & Homeschools * Libraries* Scouts * Book Clubs * Planetarium Events * After School Groups * Bookstores & More
I offer a variety of program options. It’s your choice: I will focus on content related to my books or on the writing process, or provide a mix of both perspectives. I will work with you to tailor a program to your needs, always one with an interactive bent..
I have been designated as a Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) Creative Teaching Partner. This designation assures you that I will effectively work help you develop programs that are consistent with great education–and your standards.
I have experience writing successful grant proposals. Please contact me if I can help you think through your proposal.
Each program below is a1-2 hour session for up to 30 students and includes time for a general author Q&A session. Together, we can ensure that we meet your Common Core content needs. Please contact me for pricing and scheduling information.
• Playing with Your Words—A Serious Writing Workshop
Alphabetizing, rhyming, and alliteration are schemes I use to help structure and enliven my writing. After exploring passages from my books, we’ll use these techniques to launch written pieces that relate to the content area of your choosing.
• Revision: Secret to Getting it Just Right
Sometimes, it seems to take me forever to write an idea so it works well on the page. For example, just hours before Big Bang! shipped to the printer, the editors and I were still working on changes–even though we had all read the book dozens and dozens of times. How can we tap into creativity and satisfaction during the journey from draft to finished piece? We’ll examine revisions involved in Big Bang!, work with hands-on materials, and develop short written pieces while we explore the nature of visioning and re-visioning our ideas.
• Making Sense with Metaphors
In literature and in non-fiction writing, metaphors and similes help writers explore and communicate ideas powerfully. We will discover the power of metaphor through a variety of experiences, including kinesthetic and visual activities. We will also identify examples of metaphors in my written pieces and other curriculum resources. Together, we’ll explore how and why metaphors help us make sense. Then we will generate our own metaphors relating to one or more content areas in your curriculum.
• Writing By the Numbers
How do you take an ordinary event and give it an extraordinary twist? Or, conversely, take something wildly different from our usual experience and make it understandable? Often, it helps to compare its size, shape, speed, or other characteristics to something familiar. After taking a look at some examples from my published pieces, we’ll explore calculations, numbers, scale, and proportion to see how we can make exciting sense out of plain old facts.
A BLACK HOLE IS NOT A HOLE interactive presentation
What makes black holes so fascinating? How does gravity work within and “outside” of them? How do scientists use technology and ingenuity to find black holes? A series of activities, full of audience participation, helps readers extend their literacy experience.
BIG BANG! Science Programs
(Earth, Space, and Physical Science)
These science programs vary from grade level to grade level, and from classroom to classroom. All draw from Big Bang! and build on the concepts with hands-on, minds-on experiences. For more information about how the program can meet your specific group’s needs, please contact me.
• Detective Work Behind the Big Bang Scene
This program highlights the nature of science, joining experiences and ideas to show how scientists discovered and now continue to test ideas about the Big Bang.
• Seeing the Light
Explore the nature of light, both visible and invisible, and use models to practice interpreting light signals to explore the universe.
• What’s in the Universe?
Explore the parts and structure of the universe.
Leonardo’s ABC Programs
(Science, Invention, and Creativity)
These programs vary according to the grade level and curriculum priorities you set. All draw from my research on Leonardo da Vinci and a resource kit I developed and tested while at the Museum of Science, Boston.
• Looking Like Leonardo
We’ll use observational drawing to get at the heart of art and science, while building appreciation for Leonardo’s supreme talent as an observer of nature.
• Creating Connections
Engage yourself in activities that Leonardo once recommended to his own students. Then contemplate new creative challenges to bring out the creative artist, scientist, and thinker within.
• Engaging Engineering
Leonardo’s inventions include all sorts of ingenious contraptions. Take a look at his designs. Modify materials to meet a challenge based on one of his own puzzles.
Longer Term Programs
I am available for residencies that provide a combination of professional development, collegial meetings, and curriculum planning, as well as work with students. I will draw from my experiences as a science educator and author to create a program that will meet the needs and circumstances of your group. Residencies can be full time or part time engagements.