I offer rich, interactive, full-day programs for schools and homeschool groups (see video). These include assembly and classroom presentations, teacher workshops, motivational talks with leaning disabled students, and outdoor activities including field trips. I also lead staff development and teacher training workshops.Contact me to schedule a program.
School Program Elements
The program is adaptable to the needs and schedule of your school. Teachers and administrators can customize the events of the day.
- Assembly Presentations Join me for an illustrated lecture of the amazing relationships between animals and plants in California. Choose between nature observation, Sierra Nevada ecosystem and coastal California ecosystem presentations.
- Classroom Presentations What is it like to be a scientist who studies nature through art? Students are able to look through my original science and art journals and see a sketching demonstration.
- Outdoor Activities If the school has easily accessible nature areas nearby, I can lead field studies and nature journaling activities with individual classes.
- Teacher Workshops I can meet with teachers during the lunch break or after school. Wy presentation focuses on the most important aspects of using nature journals to integrate science, language arts, and art.
- Programs for Learning Disabled Students I am severely dyslexic. I have developed many ways and strategies to overcome my problems with spelling, writing, and reading, and a philosophy that frames my condition is a positive way. I like to share these insights with learning disabled students.
- Field Trips I can provide support and instruction for school field trips, leading environmental education activities, teaching natural history and engaging students in nature journaling.
- Conceptual framework for nature journaling including links to NGSS, and CCSS.
- Field demonstrations of activities.
- Strategies for giving feedback and evaluating student work.
- Site evaluation to highlight resources for nature journaling activities.
$2500/ day plus travel expenses (if any).
Do you need help generating funds for your school program? Schools have been very successful in rasing funds through croudfunding sites. Here is an example of a fundraising campaign by a school that raised $5000 in a few weeks see their video and related article.
What People Are Saying
“I teach a class of educationally and behaviorally challenged students. One child in particular is struggling with learning to read and write, and is often greatly frustrated. He has a huge desire to learn, but has expressed being discouraged many times in a number of ways. On the day of John’s visit, I took my small class to join another group he was working with. As we joined the group, John was beginning to talk about how he worked to overcome his own dyslexia as a student. My frustrated learner listened to him with eyes wide. I was standing a little distance away with several other children in between. All of a sudden, it seemed a huge light bulb went on in my student’s head. He turned to me, met my eyes, and slowly and gently pointed to himself, clearly identifying with John’s words. The moment was a revelation to this child, and clearly gave him hope that he wasn’t alone in his struggles. As the class went on, this boy was fully involved with all that John presented and asked the students to try. He was completely engaged. After class, we walked back to our own classroom and my student asked if he could please write in his journal immediately. His classmates joined in the request with many “pleases”. Although we had journal time before John’s visit, it has taken on a more important place in the school day. This one boy in particular works hard to finish other assignments so he can have extra journal time. And I am certain this experience with John has contributed to the boy’s increased rate of learning and positive attitude.” Barbara Kelley-Special Education Teacher, Bishop Elementary School
“Jack was one of those speakers that brings celebration to a school community. Students of all ages were engaged and involved. Teachers were effusive about the content, assemblies and workshops. One second grade teacher remarked that during their library time after the assembly, all her students checked out books about nature! The workshop he did with our teachers during our staff meeting was well received and again, a celebration– of science, of students, and of the incredible place we live here in the Eastern Sierra.” Betsy McDonald, Principal, Bishop Elementary School
“After giving two energetic assemblies to 775 children, John spent the rest of the day teaching five individual classes in my room. The children’s level of involvement was extremely high. This means they were engaged and focused on John and what he was demonstrating even when there were fifty children in the room! The students particularly benefited from seeing his personal journals. John allowed the students to page through his field journals filled with notes and watercolors painted in the field. Then they watched in awe as he first sketched in blue pencil and then watercolored an animal of their choice in less than ten minutes from start to finish. They were amazed. John’s message to them was, the more you draw, the better you get at it. Practice, practice, practice. John shared with them that he is dyslexic and had a hard time in school due to the difficulty he experienced in learning how to read. Nonetheless, he is a successful, published artist and author. What a great example for all students, regardless of their success in academic settings. I hope you will return next year!” Rosie Howard, Musart Teacher, Pine Street School