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  School Visits

James M. Deem
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

I make school visits both to discuss any of the subjects I have researched (including mummies) and to encourage children to read and write more. I am happy to tailor a presentation for any group of students, adults, or educators. My talks are appropriate for children in third grade and older.

I am located in the United States, but I make international visits as well. I charge a daily honorarium and travel expenses from my home in Arizona. If you are interested in exploring this possibility, please e-mail me.  

Goals of my visits: To encourage children to be interested in the past and to motivate them to research, read, and write about subjects that interest them. To show that research is fascinating and that writing is fun. To encourage children to write their own stories. To motivate children to research topics that interest them.

Presentations: My presentations include: 

Ötzi. I introduce students to the Iceman, showing them how he was discovered in the remains of a melting glacier and the fascinating objects and clothing that accompanied him. I explain how scientists eventually uncovered the cause of his death. I compare the archaeological discovery of the Iceman to other finds in melting glaciers. My PowerPoint includes many rare images that I located when researching my book, Bodies from the Ice.

Egyptian mummies. I take the audience on a 3000-year tour of mummification, showing how mummies (and their coffins and their canopic jars) changed over that period of time. I have approximately 70 images from museums around the world that illustrate this evolution.

Bog people. I define what a bog is, explain its "birth" and development, and discusses how and why early European people placed objects and bodies in bogs (and other watery places). I show about 40 images, including many rare images that I discovered during his research for Bodies from the Bog.

Pompeii. I discuss what life was like in Pompeii before the famous eruption of AD 79. I describe the eruption of Vesuvius and its effect on the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. I explain what happened to Pompeii afterwards and why it remained buried for 1700 years. I describe how Pompeii was accidentally uncovered and the types of objects and remains that were found there. I explain how the rediscovery of Pompeii has enabled scientists and historians to understand better what life was like in ancient Rome times. My PowerPoint presentation includes many rare images that I discovered in the photographic archive at Pompeii during my research for the award-winning Bodies from the Ash.

 

 

As children's author, I give a variety of other talks. These include:

My general presentation. I briefly introduce some of the books I've written and discuss how I get my ideas. I tell children the story of how I became a writer in the fifth grade. Using PowerPoint (if a projector is available), I talk about the research I do in writing a book. Sometimes I use images related to my books How to Make a Mummy Talk, Bodies from the Bog, or Bodies from the Ash to help students understand the work involved (and the pleasures of research). I conclude by discussing the art of writing. If there is time, I may read a small portion of my novel The Very Real Ghost Book of Christina Rose or The Mystery Club of Luna Drive. I always allow time for children to ask questions at the end of my presentation.

Any of the topics I've written about. These range from the Revolutionary War, the Mexican-American War, the Vikings, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore to UFOs, ESP, and buried treasure. This type of presentation works well with interested students of any age.

The publication process. I describe the formation of an idea through research, writing, revision, manuscript preparation, galleys, dummies, etc. I bring examples of each step. This presentation is best for smaller groups.

 

 

Number of Presentations: A full day visit includes up to four presentations. Each presentation can be different depending upon your needs. I am also happy to give an extra presentation to teachers or parents, before or after school. 

And I am always willing to eat lunch (or share a snack) with students (sometimes this is a select group of student writers or simply students who are interested in meeting an author and sometimes students who have won some type of contest). Use your imagination and dream up an activity; I have done "Donuts with Deem," pizza parties...whatever it takes to give kids a memorable day.

I do not schedule half day visits (one or two presentations) except in my local area (Tucson, Arizona). 

Size of Audience: As a former college professor who taught reading, writing, and study skills, I am comfortable speaking to any size group.  However, smaller groups will probably benefit a little more from a presentation.

Advance Preparation: Children who know about me or my books ahead of time will get much more out of the presentation. Students who have read one of my books will benefit the most. 

To help prepare students for a visit, I have posted two scavenger hunts. One is a website hunt; the other is a catalog hunt. Both may be used as is, or revised to better suit your purposes.  At Lounsberry Hollow Middle School, students who had the most correct answers were given an autographed copy of one of my books.

Study guides to help teachers introduce my nonfiction books are available. I'm happy to provide any other information that will help teachers or students get to know me in advance; just let me know what you need.

Follow-up: At the end of my presentation, I share my website address with children and ask them to visit it and, if they wish, write me. 

As you can see, my website has many things for children to read and think about, to reinforce my message about reading and writing. I also take a camera to my presentations. If possible, I post a few photos to my website (hopefully by the next day) as well as a letter to the children. This, I hope, keeps the experience fresh in children's minds.

Rates: I charge a set fee for a full-day's visit, plus travel expenses. I always reduce the fee for multiple day visits and share travel expenses among schools. If you have a tight budget or other special circumstances, don't hesitate to ask.

Availability: Check with me.

E-mail me for information about rates and availability. 

 

PHOTOS 

Here are photos of some of my mummy visits:

Pathfinder School (Traverse City, MI)

Birmingham Public Library and Birmingham Art Museum (Birmingham, AL)

Fourth Avenue Junior High School (Yuma, AZ)

John Jay Middle School (Katonah, NY)

Burleson Intermediate School (Burleson, TX)

Lincoln Middle School, Green River, WY

 

 

 

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All material on this website is intended primarily for children, educators, and parents.  
© 1988-2012 James M. Deem 
If you would like to contact James M. Deem, you may reach him here.

Be sure to visit The World of James M. Deem for stories, activities and information about the books of James M. Deem.