Joe and Mary Ann McDonald's

Wildlife Photography


School Assembly Programs

Visiting Author Presentations

Natural History Programs



For the last few years Mary has been giving several 'visiting author presentations' to elementary schools, some during national book weeks, some for special events, where she discusses being an author, writing 29 children's books on natural history, and presenting a slide show on our wildlife work. Normally the presentations are an all-day event with Mary addressing the school in a full assembly, and then special visits to individual classrooms for tailor-made presentations and more personal question and answer sessions.


Our Natural History programs are designed for grade levels from elementary through middle school. Each slide show is personally narrated by either Joe or Mary Ann, with each presentation tailored to fit the time frame allotted.Most programs last between 40 minutes to an hour, based upon the school's needs. All programs provide time for questions and answers, and all are fact-filled with biological concepts presented in simple, down-to-earth language young students can understand. Programs can be schedule individually or for the entire day, and each assembly or presentation can be different to provide for a wide choice for the students needs.

Programs include:

Animal Adaptations - This is a spectacular program profiling the incredible diversity in how animals adapt to their environment, from whales to bats, from birds to bugs. Students will see examples of methods of food-gathering and procurement, self-defense, camouflage, and more. This program can be adapted to fit virtually every age group.

Journey Through the Seasons -- the wildlife of the mid-Atlantic states as seen through the course of a year. An especially relevant program for middle shool students, from 5th grade through 8th, and perfect during Earth Week or special environmental days.

African Wildlife - The diversity of wildife in Africa is without parallel, and this program introduces a wide variety of African animals. The program reveals the many ways animals have adapted to their environment, in feeding, escaping from enemies, and moving about. Ecology, conservation, and natural history observations are all discussed. Especially relevant for grades 4 and up

.Smooth Skins and Scaly - the reptiles and amphibians of the world, with some live examples to add some spice! This is a favorite with elementary kids.

Beyond Your Doorstep - the wildlife that is found right outside your door, in your backgrounds and local streams and woodlands. A perfect program to illustrate the diversity of wildlife, and the wonderful viewing opportunities they provide, very close to home. Perfect for all ages, but especially relevant for grades 4 and up.

Wild Mammals of North America - This is one of the most popular natural history programs for elementary grades, as the students can identify with, and recognize, many familiar species. Besides portfolioing a wide variety of North American mammals, students will be introduced to the idea of scientific nomenclature, the concepts of adaptation and speciation, and ecological relationships.

Six Legs, Four Eyes -- or more! This program explores the diversity of the largest group of terrestrial animals -- the Arthropods, the insects and spiders. It is an excellent program for grades 4 and up, especially for classrooms interested in starting up a collection or who are involved in in-classroom nature observations.

Teacher packets can be provided that provide follow-up questions and answers based upon the program. Behavioral objectives are listed for each program.

For more information about booking a program, please contact our office.

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Phone or FAX us at: (717) 543-6423.