Author Visits & School Programs

All my programs include elements of S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Tech, Engineering, Art, Math). Programs can be adjusted to meet special needs. 

Grades K-3  (35-45 mins)

THE SECRET LIFE OF THE… (choose one):


In this program I introduce students to your choice of mammal the same way I learn about my subjects—with sight (video clips), touch (animal skins, when available), and sound (animal calls). The children learn the animal’s sounds, and participate at key points in the narrative. Q&A follows if time allows.

Grades 4-6  (40-50 mins)


This program has options for more advanced S.T.E.A.M. discussions, including satellite animal tracking, avian biology, and conservation, and CC Standards in literacy. The presentation may include:

  • A reading of one chapter from BELLE’S JOURNEY
  • A multimedia slide show the real-life story of Belle’s first migration from Massachusetts, to Brazil, and back again
  • A discussion about the research I do before illustrating non-fiction, with a live drawing demo from Osprey nest cam footage
  • My career journey as a children’s book illustrator
  • Q&A if time allows

Guided Nature Walks (60-90 mins)

After a book reading, we’ll go into the field searching for signs of wildlife—dens and nests, scat and pellets, cocoons, eggs, and chrysalides. Students will learn to use their nature journal to record their findings, keep data, and remember sensory details. Limited to 20 participants with adult supervision. A supply list will be provided in advance. Location-based and weather permitting. (60-90 mins)

For Teens and Adults

The Art and Craft of Nature Writing & Illustration

Discover nature and stories through guided observations, research, and mentoring.

  • Portfolio Prep Do you need a portfolio review before applying for art school or a professional conference? Contact me to get a quote on individual or group sessions with feedback and follow-up.
  • Guided Nature Journaling My nature journaling workshops will give you the tools and insights needed to create engaging stories for children, or just for yourself. The benefits of drawing in the field are similar to the effects of meditation and mindfulness training.
  • Creating a Picture Book Dummy Do you have a book idea? Dummy-making isn’t just for illustrators. Dummies are helpful writing tools for perfecting a story’s pacing with well-planned page turns. We’ll deconstruct and reconstruct a manuscript using tape, scissors, paper, and thumbnail sketches.

Have questions? Send me an email

The Highlights Foundation – The Art & Craft of Nature Writing & Illustration with Julie Zickefoose, Laurence Pringle, and Rob Bierregaard