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CLASSROOM VISITS - ASSEMBLIES - STAR PARTIES

 

         My mission is to help middle grade teachers address Next Generation Science and Common Core Reading Standards while encouraging kids to live authentic, joyful lives.

 

✓TARGET AUDIENCE: 3-6

CLASSROOM VISITS AND ASSEMBLIES

MIX AND MATCH LEARNING MODULES

NGSS AND COMMON CORE

YEAR-ROUND AVAILABILITY

Special Add on (Northern CA only):

   STAR PARTIES!

 

INTERESTED in scheduling a School Visit?

Give me a call at 916-835-3757 or Click here to contact me!

 

 

“I teach kids that authenticity is the crucible of passion, and passion, well-shepherded, is the key to joy. In modern times, where distractions abound and the pressure to conform is fierce, too many kids follow well-worn paths rather than striking out on their own. I give my readers unguarded permission to stick out from the crowd. I encourage them to live, love, and work from the heart: to be successful on their own terms. And through the vicarious journeys of my hero-protagonists, I give them concrete skills to do it.”      – Ruthy Ballard, PhD

 

MODULE A

Every Child has a Gift. What’s Yours?

 

What your students will take away:

  • A new mindset:
    • Every child (including them!) has a gift that makes them special and important
    • Their gift may be hidden, even to themselves
    • Identifying, celebrating, and mastering their gift is the key to building an authentic life of their own choosing
  • An appreciation for how authors pull experiences and insights from their own lives to create stories with wisdom and impact

 

What to expect:

  • A lively chronicle of the author’s life, from her early years as an “unseen child with the gift of Big Thoughts” to her career as a scientist.
  • An animated reading of the Prologue and first chapter of Mateo and the Gift of Presence
  • Age-appropriate discussion of the book’s message 
  • Q & A

 

 

Click here to return to the List of Available Modules

MODULE B

Why Science Needs Good Storytellers, Not Just Geeks!

school visits Ruthy Ballard

 

What your students will take away:

  • Permission to pursue science even if they’re not naturally “good at it”
  • How storytellers and writers drive science forward
  • Permission to embrace their emotions as friends, not foes
  • What it’s like to be a scientist-teacher and a scientist-author

 

What to expect:

  • A lively chronicle of the author’s life, from her early years as an “unseen child with the gift of Big Thoughts” to her career as a scientist.
    • Why she never thought she’d be a scientist
    • What changed her mind
  • Why science needs big-picture thinkers, story-tellers, and writers
  • The critical role of emotions in every endeavor, including science
  •  A day in the life of a scientist-teacher
    •  Dr. Ruthy’s job teaching students, attorneys, judges, and juries
  • A day in the life of a scientist-author
    • How Dr. Ruthy brings science into her books
      • Readings from Mateo and the Gift of Presence
    • Q & A

     

 

Click here to return to the List of Available Modules

MODULE  C

 

What Science Tells Us About the Power of Diversity

school visits Mod C Ruthy Ballard

Love and Acceptance

 

What your students will take away:

  • A mind set that diversity is valuable and worth preserving
  • Specific examples of diversity in action
  • The definition of “xenophobia” and why humans are prone to it
  • Motivation to uproot xenophobia in themselves and their communities
  • An appreciation for why some scientists need to be good storytellers

 

What to expect:

  • An animated reading of Itsbansea and the Paddling Games, a fairy tale from Urth
    • What is xenophobia?
    • How Itsbansea triumphs over xenophobia
    • Why diversity makes a group (sports team, school, country) stronger and more resilient than any one member
  • A short video on the dangers of monoculture
  • short video on why human beings evolved different skin colors and why that’s a good thing
  •  Q & A

 

Click here to return to the List of Available Modules

MODULE D

From Stars to Bacteria: The Fundamental Law of Nature that Governs Everything

school visits Mod D Ruthy Ballard

 

What your students will take away:

  • A visceral understanding of the Second Law of Thermodynamics
  • A big-picture view of the Second Law in action
  • An appreciation for the power of stories to make complex scientific ideas interesting, fun, and relevant
  • An understanding of why people focus on what’s bad in their lives, not what’s good
    • Enthusiasm for keeping a “thank you” journal
  • How keeping a “thank you” journal and the Second Law are connected!

 

What to expect:

  • Demonstrations of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (using props; with no geek-speak)
  • An explanation for why the sun shines, how the energy of the sun is harvested by living organisms (either directly or indirectly), and why living things need energy to stay alive
  • What the Second Law tells us about how to be happy
    • Animated reading of The Six Woes of Werd, a fairy tale from Urth
    • Why humans look for what’s wrong in their lives, not what’s good
    • Why keeping a “thank you” journal will change your life
  • Q & A

 

Click here to return to the List of Available Modules

MODULE E:

 

Urth has Two Moons. What’s that Like?

 

school visit Mod E Ruthy BallardWhat your students will take away:

  • How props and fun fantasy stories can be used to communicate complex scientific ideas
  • An appreciation for the size of our galaxy and the wonders in it
  • An understanding of what it might be like to live on a planet with two moons
  • A white board-magnet kit for further exploration
    • Access to The Moons-Lings illustrated flip book 
    • Opportunity to use The Moons-Lings plot and the white board kit to investigate the Urth-moons system

 

What to expect:

  • An overview of Dr.Ruthy’s fantasy planet, Urth
    • Where on Earth is Urth?
    • How long would it take to get there?
  • A birds-eye view of Urth’s two moon system using a white board-magnet prop
    • Lunera and Ru: Relative positions and characteristics
    • What Ru would look like from Lunera
    • Reading from The Moons-Lings, a fairy tale from Urth
  • Readings from Mateo and the Gift of Presence:
    • How Mateo got to Urth
    • Moons-shock
    • Urthlings and moons-vocabulary
  • Short video: What causes tides? 
  • Reading from Mateo and the Gift of Presence:
    • Tides on Urth
    • Q & A

 

Click here to return to the List of Available Modules 

MODULE F

Urth’s “Great Melt” and What it Means for Usschool visits Mod F Ruthy Ballard

 

What your students will take away:

  • A heightened appreciation for the great threat posed by global warming
  • A sense of increased urgency to address the problem
  • An empowering mind set that they can do something about it
  • Permission to speak out
  • Permission to take action
  • A hopeful vision for the future
  • An appreciation for how scientist-authors can use storytelling to communicate great truths and spur people to action

 

 

What to expect:

  • A brief introduction to Dr. Ruthy’s fantasy planet, Urth
  • Readings from her Tales by Moons-Light books
    • Urth’s “Great Melt”
    • How the “Great Melt” changed Urth forever
    • An optimistic tale of how Urthlings responded to the crisis
  • Short video: Earth’s temperature rise over the past 100 years
  • A list of the primary causes of global warming
  • The importance of speaking out and taking action
    • Animated reading of The Poison Well, a cautionary fairy tale from Urth
  • Q & A

 

Click here to return to the List of Available Modules

MODULE G

How Long is a Day on the Moon? (You Might be Surprised!)

school visit Mod G Ruthy Ballard

What your students will take away:

 

  • An appreciation for how props can be used to explain complex scientific ideas
  • Why a day on the Moon is one month long
  • What they’d see if they were standing on the Moon, and why
  • A white board-magnet kit for further exploration
    • Access to The Moons-Lings illustrated flip book
    • Opportunity to use The Moons-Lings plot and the white board kit to investigate a two-moon system

     

    What to expect:

    • A white board-magnet, dynamic demonstration that:
      • Places the Earth, Moon, and Sun in spatial context
      • Explains why only one side of the Moon faces Earth
    • Visuals of the “front side” and the “back side” of the Moon
    • A return to the white board-magnet demonstration that:
      • Places an observer on the “back side” of the Moon
      • Places an observer on the “front side” of the Moon
    • Video of the Earth from the “front side” of the Moon, going through its monthly phases
    • In small classrooms: Play-acting the white board-magnet scenario
    • Reading of a short excerpt from The Moons-Lings fairy tale

     

    Click here to return to the List of Available Modules

MODULE H

Peek Inside the World of a Scientist-Author!

school visits Mod H Ruthy Ballard

What your students will take away:

  • A delightful glimpse into the life of a scientist-author
  • An appreciation for the awesome power of imagination
  • An understanding that “it takes a village” to publish a book
  • An expectation that imagination isn’t enough: Successful writing also takes grit and persistence (but it’s worth it!)
  • An appreciation for how scientist-authors draw on their expertise to create stories with wisdom and impact

 

What to expect:

 

  • A lively chronicle of how Dr. Ruthy began writing children’s books
    • Her first muse: Mateo
    • A letter from a friend
    • From chapter one to twenty-six (in two weeks)
    • The day time disappeared
    • The final word
  • A step-by-step description of her process (with examples from Mateo and the Gift of Presence):
    • Inspiration, flow, first draft (utter joy!)
    • Digging in, research, fleshing out (interesting, satisfying)
    • Editing, nit-picking, and perfectionism (ugh!)
    • Ideas for the cover and interior (utter joy!)
  • Letting go to the experts (scary)
    • Post-publication opportunities (fun but overwhelming)
  • A video tour of Dr. Ruthy’s studio
    • “Why shouldn’t my Goose?” (Audio tape of a musical round)
    • Tricks and tools for juggling multiple books at once

     

    Click here to return to the List of Available Modules

Star Parties!

Special Add-on (Northern California Only)

 

 

What your students will take away:

  • An appreciation for the size and structure of our solar system
  • An understanding that the planets and Moon move from night to night and why
  • An exciting, up-close view of the Moon!
  • An exciting, up-close view of one or more planets!

 

What to expect:

 

  • A special opportunity for small groups (<20)
  • An introductory slide show (in the classroom)
    • Our solar system
    • Earth’s Moon
    • The planets
  • Early evening telescope viewing
    • Weather permitting
    • First quarter moons are best!
    • One or more planets (depending on season)

     

    Click here to return to the List of Available Modules