School Visits

Now scheduling 2023/24 visits to celebrate Lindsey’s newest science book,

Polar: Wildlife at the Ends of the Earth!


Science Programs

Laura and the Locusts

Grade K-3

In 1875, a swarm of Rocky Mountain locusts destroyed Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family farm. This presentation integrates Laura’s descriptions of the swarm (On the Banks of Plum Creek) with the newest scientific information on Locust Migration. Prepare to be fascinated and creeped out all at once!

Curriculum Connections: migration, insects, extinction, life cycles

Duration: 45 minutes

Requirements: Laptop and projector for PowerPoint slides, speakers for video

What Is a Forest For? Introducing The Boreal Forest

Grade K-3

The boreal forest is the largest, most northern forest in the world… and 29% of it is right here in Canada! This introduction to the boreal biome will help kids understand why forests matter. We’ll explore biodiversity with a look at the animals – both iconic and obscure! – who call the boreal forest home. Using a movement activity, we’ll then discuss photosynthesis and how it helps forests prevent climate change. This program runs approximately 30 minutes, leaving plenty of time to answer students’ questions.

Curriculum Connections: biomes, habitats, the boreal forest, biodiversity, photosynthesis, climate change

Duration: 45 minutes

Requirements: Laptop and projector for PowerPoint slides

(Ant)Arctic Adaptations: Wildlife at the Ends of the Earth

Grade 4-6

The polar regions are bitterly cold, freeze-dried wildernesses, where the wind can blow harder than hurricanes. They are also the only places on Earth where day—and night—last up to six months. And yet, many animals not only survive in these extreme environments, they thrive!

After a brief introduction to the Arctic and Antarctica, kids will be asked to brainstorm a list of polar species. We’ll discuss the adaptations that help their favourite animals stay warm, find food, and raise their babies, all in two of the harshest habitats on the planet. Then, we’ll explore the extreme adaptations of some less-familiar species… including one that protects itself with projectile vomit! 

This presentation draws on Lindsey’s experience living in the Arctic, her PhD research on northern wolves and arctic foxes, and her favourite facts from her newest STEM book, Polar: Wildlife at the Ends of the Earth.

Curriculum Connections: adaptations, migration, biomes, biodiversity, habitat, climate change, life cycles

Duration: 60 minutes

Requirements: Laptop and projector for PowerPoint slides

Fur and Feathers and Frogs, Oh My! Amazing Animals of The Boreal Forest

Grade 4-6

Who calls the boreal forest home? Moose and loons and beavers are both iconic and familiar; tanukis and teals and star-nosed moles, not so much! After a brief introduction to the boreal forest, kids will be asked to brainstorm a list of boreal species. We’ll take a few moments to learn about some of the biome’s more unusual occupants, through a reading from The Boreal Forest that brings these species to vivid life. From the reading, kids will identify three common adaptations for surviving boreal winters, with examples of animals that use each one. We’ll then discuss two extreme winter adaptations before ending with plenty of time for questions.

Curriculum Connections: seasons, adaptations, migration, biomes, the boreal forest, biodiversity, habitat

Duration: 60 minutes

Requirements: Laptop and projector for PowerPoint slides

Ocean Migrations: Over the Ice and Under the Sea

Grade 4-6

What do wolves, humpback whales, and arctic foxes have in common? Whether over the ice or under the sea, their life cycles all include migration. Drawing on discoveries from Humpback Whale Migration and Lindsey’s PhD research, this program explores different types of migration and how the world’s oceans influence animal movements. The potential impacts of global climate change on wildlife migration are also discussed.

Curriculum Connections: migration, habitat, climate change, life cycles

Duration: 1 hour

Requirements: Laptop and projector for PowerPoint slides, speakers for video.

Source or Sink? The Carbon Cycle and Climate Change

Grade 7-12

Carbon sinks are ecosystems that trap more CO2 via photosynthesis than they release into the atmosphere each year. As our climate changes, scientists fear that some carbon sinks could become carbon sources… accelerating further warming. In this presentation, we’ll explore the stages of the carbon cycle in the context of the boreal forest and the polar regions, showing how regional events connect to a global process.  After discussing the impacts of climate change on life in northern and polar ecosystems, kids will take action by brainstorming simple strategies they can use to reduce their carbon footprints, influence climate policy, and preserve these vast Canadian wildernesses for future generations.

Curriculum Connections: the carbon cycle, arctic tundra, Antarctica, positive feedbacks, conservation, the boreal forest, climate change

Duration: 60 minutes

Requirements: Laptop and projector for PowerPoint slides

Writing Workshops

What’s Your Book About? How to Decide What to Leave Out

Grade 4-6, Grade 7-12, Adults

“What’s your book about?” is the second-most-common thing people ask a writer – just after “Where do you get your ideas?” But before we can tell other people, we have to be able to tell ourselves. Knowing what the book is really about lets us research efficiently, revise strategically, and avoid time-consuming tangents… producing a final draft that’s concise, cohesive, and effective. In this presentation, I share the coolest animal facts that aren’t in The Boreal Forest, and explain exactly why I cut them. Then, we’ll walk through each draft of the book’s opening scene, exploring the step-by-step-decision-making process of rewriting. Throughout the program, two-minute challenges will give students a chance to apply these techniques to their own manuscripts. Note: This program can be adapted for elementary, for junior and senior high, and for adult audiences.

Maximum Group Size: 30

Duration: 60 minutes

Requirements: Laptop and projector for PowerPoint Slides

Writing Down the Feels

Grade 7-12, Adults

Why do we forget some stories, while others stay with us for years? Be they nonfiction, fiction, or poetry, stories with staying power are the ones that make us feel. This workshop explores the connections between language and emotions, teaching writers how to manipulate their reader’s response. Students will harness the emotional resonance of vivid words and figures of speech, bringing their descriptions to life. In the full-day version of this program, students will apply what they’ve learned in creating a new piece of writing. Readers will laugh, cry, and remember their words forever.

Maximum Group Size: 30

Duration: Full-day or two-day workshop

Requirements: Projector and screen for PowerPoint slides. Whiteboard, chalkboard, or flip chart.

A Supernatural Guide to Character Building

Grade 9-12

Readers don’t care what happens next unless they care about who it’s happening to. As writers, how do we create characters readers love… or love to hate? In this workshop, students will learn about the connection between character and plot, and why it matters. We’ll use examples from the hit TV show “Supernatural” to explore backstory, inciting incident, and character arc. Students will practice matching characters to plots, and experiment with tools for creating–and revealing–personalities.

Maximum Group Size: 30

Duration: 2-hour workshop

Requirements: Projector and screen for PowerPoint slides. Whiteboard, chalkboard, or flip chart.

A Book Is an Iceberg: Research Skills for Writers

Grade 10-12, Adults

As a science writer, I take notes on about 10% of the research material I read for a given project. About 10% of the information in those notes appears in the final book. This session will explore the hidden 90%, beginning with an introduction to primary and secondary sources. Next, we’ll discuss strategies for vetting our research into emotionally-loaded environmental issues—like climate change—in the age of Google and the era of “fake news.” The second half of this program will give participants a chance to ask questions about any aspect of creative or academic writing, sharing strategies and receiving expert advice for approaching challenges they’ve experienced in their own work.

Maximum Group Size: 30

Duration: 60 minutes

Requirements: Projector and screen for PowerPoint slides.

Important Info

On site visits: Lindsey lives in Ontario, Canada – travel expenses may be added to the cost of the visit.

Virtual visits: Available platforms include Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and Facebook or YouTube Live. Contact Lindsey for details. Lindsey can accommodate schedules in a range of time zones. 

Speaking Fees

On site visits: $350 + HST for up to 1 hour $600 + HST half day $900 + HST full day (4 hours). Travel and/or accommodation fees may also apply. Discounts may be available for multiple bookings in the same geographic area.

Virtual visits: $300 + HST for up to 1 hour,  $200 + HST for each additional presentation on the same day, to a maximum of 4 hours. 

How to Book

Contact Lindsey to discuss dates and pricing. As a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada, her visits are eligible for funding through the Ontario Writers in the Schools Program and the National Public Readings Programs.