– Dot to Dot in the Sky Literacy –
Author presentations that build
reading and writing skills, and
interest in STEM and STEAM topics
Joan’s focus on STEM and STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) offer a curriculum bonus that encourages students to explore their world. Audiences find it hard to resist the lure of constellations, exploding stars, and black holes, and the myths and legends early peoples and ancient cultures first told to explain the night sky.
Interest in the idea of “celebrating writing” builds when Joan reveals how she has “literally” launched several of her books in rockets and one beneath a weather balloon! Her fact-filled books and personal stories provide the perfect tie-in to sky science, weather, engineering, and other STEM and STEAM topics.
Joan makes it easier for students to picture themselves as writers when she shares her story of becoming a paid columnist at age 12. By the end of Joan’s talks, students will appreciate the idea that writing can be fun. They will know how to find the North Star, as well as a few constellations, and feel motivated to explore science and their own passions through books.
Dot to Dot in the Sky Literacy presentations fit the language arts, science, and social studies curriculums in various grades. Six astronauts including Chris Hadfield, Roberta Bondar, Julie Payette, and David Saint-Jacques, have read and endorsed Joan’s astronomy titles.
Curriculum BONUS: Joan’s Dot to Dot in the Sky Literacy presentations are perfect for grabbing the attention of all grades. They also fit the grade six and nine science curriculums.
VIRTUAL FEES (up to three classroom logins)
30-minute presentation: $170 (K-2 or Ask the Author for any grade)
40-minute presentation: $225
60-minute presentation or writing workshop $275
VIRTUAL or IN PERSON FEES
Half day (two 45-minute presentations) $500
Full day (four 45-minute presentations) $850
Same day writing workshops (three 60-minute sessions) $800
(In person: up to 75 students/session)
Order a classroom set of Mortimer: Rat Race to Space and receive a free 30 minute Ask the Author presentation. Please contact Joan directly for pricing.
Ask the Author
30 Minutes (any grade)
Joan explains how she came to be a published newspaper columnist at age 12, then invites questions about her books, writing, and the writing process.
Pictures in the Sky
30 minutes (K-2)
Students learn how to find the North Star, locate constellations, and discover myths/legends relating to the night sky. Joan also plays a game of “Picture Book: Fact or Fiction” and offers tips on how to become a stronger writer.
Curriculum links: scientific literacy, exploring culture/community, maintaining a sense of wonder about the world, reading/writing skills, exploring/appreciating science/environment relationships.
A Rat, A Rocket, and Science (Grades 3-8) – New in 2022
Discover how scientific facts and imagination mix, and what happens when a journal-keeping lab rat starts thinking about colonizing Mars. We’ll talk about research, misinformation, and correcting mistakes—both in writing and friendships—in this entertaining and informative session based on the STEM-themed middle grade novel: Mortimer: Rat Race to Space (DCB).
Curriculum links: writing process, creative thinking, story structure, scientific literacy, technologies used in space exploration, manned spacecraft, space stations, impacts of technology, wonder about the world, exploring/appreciating science, cause and effect, reading/writing skills.
Dot to Dot in the Sky (Grades 3-6)
Students learn how to find the North Star, locate constellations, and discover myths/legends relating to the night sky. Joan intrigues young writers with her story of becoming a paid columnist at age 12, builds interest in STEM topics, and promotes the idea that reading leads to new adventure.
Curriculum links: Indigenous peoples, light in our environment, latitude, scientific literacy, exploring culture/community, wonder about the world, reading/writing skills, exploring/appreciating science and environmental relationships.
The Northern Lights (Stories of the Aurora) (Grades 4-12)
Early cultures looked up at the same night sky we see today, seeking connections between what happened on Earth and what occurred overhead. They told stories to explain the shimmering northern lights and other night sky phenomena. Discover the science and legends of the lights.
Curriculum links: sky science, Indigenous peoples, ancient Greece, light in our environment, latitude, scientific literacy, exploring culture/community, wonder about the world, space exploration, exploring/appreciating science and environmental relationships, reading/writing skills.
Dark Matters – Nature’s Reaction to Light Pollution (Grades 3-12)
Everyone deserves to see the night sky. Unfortunately, light pollution makes it hard to study the universe. It also negatively impacts wildlife. In a presentation partnering stories and science, Joan encourages students to explore the world. She also talks about writing and the importance of reading fact-based books.
Curriculum links: sky science, Indigenous peoples, ancient Greece, light in our environment, latitude, scientific literacy, exploring culture/community, wonder about the world, space exploration, exploring/analyzing/appreciating science/environmental relationships, connecting personal experience with new ideas, reading/writing skills.
Password to Publishing (Grades 7-9)
Launched with celestial storytelling, this junior high presentation includes how Joan became a paid writer in grade eight. Joan discusses challenges of the writing life, using personal stories to show how she built her skills and how perseverance benefits anyone pursuing a dream. She also offers tips on writing and revising.
Curriculum links: communication, using effective language, creativity, expressing personal feelings and experiences, use of language to extend personal goals, sky science, scientific literacy, reading/writing skills.
Write Your Own Future (Grades 10-12)
Expanding on the junior high content described above, Joan discusses writing as a career, noting that most writing in adult life is fact-based. She shares her experience writing in different styles including speechwriting, websites, and radio commercials. Joan delivers the message that good writing is essential in all career fields, particularly with changing technology and competitive environments.
Curriculum links: communication, careers, using effective language, creativity, sky science, space exploration, science and technology, scientific literacy, reading/writing skills.
Workshop: Write Like a Rat – New in 2022
Mortimer, a journal-keeping lab rat on the International Space Station is determined to prove his species is best suited to colonizing Mars. He records the results in his journal, uses a secret code, and makes videos for his YouTube channel. Discover how you too can write like a rat. Based on Mortimer: Rat Race to Space (DCB).
View additional workshop descriptions on Joan’s website.