It's not every day that an author visits your school and his book ties in seamlessly with a science unit. We have had a wonderful opportunity in which Bryn Barnard shared his book 'The New Ocean' with all of our 5th-grade science classes. The topics covered in his book connected with our unit on the Earth's systems called 'Like it or not, I affect the planet.' In this unit, our fifth graders have been learning about how each of our actions can start a domino effect, which eventually has an impact on the planet in one form or another. Either plastic ends up in the ocean, or our carbon footprint causes ocean warming and acidification.
In the second half or our unit, 5th graders discuss how science can save the day. In addition to this, we think about how we could make changes in our actions. No matter how small they may seem, these changes may be the beginning of the ripple effect we would like to see in our world. In his last chapter, Mr. Barnard talks about these choices. His last words: "Study Nature. Study Science. Science helps us understand what is happening to the Earth. Science helps us find solutions to problems Science is our best hope of survival. We need science. We need you."
It's like these words were written directly for my students.
Thank you for coming, Mr. Barnard.
Sanne Bloemarts, 5th Grade Science Teacher, American School of The Hague, Netherlands
Bryn Barnard visited our elementary school and met with grades pre-K to 4. He was engaging, informative, and patient with answering the students' many questions. The younger students loved his Dinosaurs presentation and had a blast with collaboratively imagining a new dinosaur and seeing it come to life with Bryn's drawing. The older students were fascinated by his Outbreak! presentation and enjoyed the experience of creating a disease together. In the evening, he held a collaborative writing and illustration workshop for parents, students, and teachers, which I encourage schools to take advantage of. Bryn was a wonderful guest author and illustrator for our elementary school and we hope to bring him back for our middle school students, too!
Linda Choo, ES Librarian, Cheongna Dalton International School, Korea
Our students gained so much from Bryn's presentations. He opened their minds to the connections between art, history and science. His presentation on Disasters in History focused on breaking down the compartmentalism of ideas. He tied in with our school theme of Remembrance by giving an assembly on his illustrations in his book, Outbreak! featuring the effects of the Spanish Flu epidemic on the outcome of WW1. Our students were mesmerised throughout and have been requesting his books ever since.
Bryn created a wonderful mural with sixth form students showcasing modern Malaysia through the Kuala Lumpur skyline. This project evolved throughout the day with many students contributing and viewing it as it progressed. It was a great collaboration and has given us a fantastic piece of public art to display at the entrance of our school for everyone to share.
Janine Murphy, HS Librarian, British International School of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Bryn’s week with our upper elementary students at ISB was a memorable one! He tailored his program to the age group and it paid off. Through his introduction of himself as an author, Bryn reinforced the idea that it’s a natural and wonderful thing to have diverse interests, as both he and our students do. He followed up with an explanation of how books get published and then a fun, group drawing exercise — both of which drew the kids in and had them asking many questions at the end… before making a beeline to check out his books.
Tim Gardes, ES Librarian, International School of Beijing, China
Bryn Barnard's visit was brain startling! Students were leaving his Outbreak sessions and going straight to the bathroom and washing their hands. I was following some 6th grade boys to lunch and overheard their discussion about getting the flu shot as fast as they could! Bryn Barnard knows his topics deeply and emotionally. He is a real renaissance man.
Barbara Boyer, High School Librarian, Shanghai American School, China
Bryn Barnard brought to our school a fascinating combination of meticulous research and wonderfully wrought illustrations that were delivered with enthusiasm, wit, and a smile.
Matt Kollasch MS/HS Librarian American School of Warsaw Poland
Bryn Barnard’s presentation was filled with captivating imagery, knowledge, and story-telling that gripped an easily bored seventh-grade group. He masterfully communicated the connection between history and science to generate questions and intrigue our students.
Coralie Clark, HS Librarian, American International School of Budapest, Hungary
Thank you for your visit to AISZ! From Junior Kindergarten through the IB art students in 12th Grade, I have heard nothing but words of praise when your name, your presentations and your books were mentioned during and after your visit. To see students of all ages and all nationalities come alive with common excitementover your books - their content, their pictures, and the process of their creation from start to finish - was a real pleasure and the book-lover that I am couldn't have been happier!
Melanie Hodge PTA Liaison American International School of Zagreb, Croatia.
Bryn Barnard visited our school this fall, and it was a great experience for all of us students and teachers. His presentations are very informative, entertaining and level appropriate. Our Primary and Middle School students thoroughly enjoyed his art and knowledge. They learned about the process of creating a book, illustrating it and also learned a bit of World History! I highly recommend his visits to schools!
Urania Beyer, Librarian, Copenhagen International School, Denmark
The event was an amazing success, largely due to Bryn’s adaptability and versatility. In the Elementary school, his engaging (and sometimes gross!) program on infectious disease fascinated the Grade 4 and 5 students, and he was able to appropriately adapt his Dangerous Planet program to suit the level of the Grade 2 and 3 students. The highlight of the Elementary program had to be his Dinosaur sessions with the Kindergarten and Grade 1 students where each class contributed in the creation of their very own chalk-pastel dinosaur. Bryn was excellent with the little ones, and managed to easily weave curriculum and fun together into each session. The fact that Bryn’s works are primarily non-fiction did not deter from his popularity in the Elementary school at all.
In the Secondary school he covered a number of diverse subject areas: the history of disease; Islam (which fitted perfectly with our Grade 7 Islam unit), and natural disasters. The talk to Grade 11 & 12 on creativity was perfect as a TOK (Theory of Knowledge) study and the Q&A after allowed students ample time to interact and express their complex ideas. He also undertook practical art classes with our Grade 6 students, teaching them watercolor, etching and a glue ink techniques; all under an hour. The boys in particular loved having a male art teacher and created lovely work during their sessions.
The students responded enthusiastically to Bryn’s sessions and we were delighted by the ideas, questions, maturity and responses that we gained from our students. Bryn was an easy-going and likeable person to host. If our timetable had allowed, we would definitely have slotted Bryn into a Professional Development session with our staff.
Rory Fraser Elementary Teacher - Librarian firstname.lastname@example.org
Fiona Mulvaney Secondary Teacher - Librarian email@example.com
American British Academy, Muscat,Oman
Mr. Barnard's visit to our school was a great success. Our 11th and 12th graders were fully engaged and furiously taking notes throughout his lecture on how Islam has influenced the arts, sciences, maths, etc. He inspired many questions following the lecture, offered fascinating insight into history. This was a highly effective supplement to the curriculum of our required Middle East History class in the high school. Mr. Barnard also visited with AP/Advanced Art and Digital Arts classes where he discussed his work in publishing, the realities of art school, and working as an artist in the corporate world which is radically changed by ever-evolving technology. Both 80 mins presentations were packed with information and Mr. Barnard's captivating speaking style kept the attention of our student audiences throughout.
Paige Spilles, Library Coordinator, The American International School of Muscat, Oman
In working with Mr. Barnard in his capacity as an artist, illustrator, historian and writer I have come to respect his abilities to shape his scholarly interests and superb communication abilities into many forms. The many lectures and demonstrations he offers create a platform for reflection on his life and work in many places and for the abiding inspiration he draws from those experiences. That can also be seen in the way he creates his illustrations, as he recently demonstrated to rapt audiences here.
Adrianne Noe, Director, National Museum of Health and Medicine, Washington DC
Bryn Barnard did for our middle school students in just one presentation what we had tried to do all year — he opened a window with which to see culture, beauty, wisdom, and tradition. Through appropriately chosen words and images, he engages his audiences at a very deep level. His unique blend of wonder and expertise makes his visits both thought-provoking and memorable.
Freya Vaughn, 7th-Grade Language Arts/Science, DISK School, Kyoto Japan
Bryn Barnard's guest lecture for the ninth grade biology students at Colorado Academy is one of legend. Several staff members were able to attend and they still talk about Bryn's ability to mesmerize students with his expertise in so many areas. He is a renaissance man with knowledge well beyond expectations. The students still talk about Bryn's lecture and book two years later and say that it was the best presentation they have ever had the pleasure of experiencing.
Suzie Jekel, Biology Teacher, Colorado Academy, Denver, Colorado
In my capacity as Lead Teacher for Griffin Bay School on San Juan Island, I had the great good fortune to team with Bryn Barnard on a series of lectures and hands on science classes based on his outstanding books. The classes were designed for elementary aged home school students. Perhaps the most insightful comment I can make is to note that as the series proceeded, more and more people were attending — by the end including parents, grandparents, high school aged siblings and cousins. This was without exception the most successful class ever offered to home school students at Griffin Bay.
Jack McKenna, Retired Teacher,Griffin Bay School, Friday Harbor, Washington
Bryn Barnard's presentation was gripping and engaging. His wonderful rapport withth the students allowed them to connect with the dramatic subject matter of his paintings. From the Black Death in Medieval Europe to smallpox and Native Americans, Bryn's work helped my students gain new insight the impact epidemics have had on society.
Christopher Wolf, High School Social Studies Teacher, American School of Doha, Qatar
Barnard is second only to Ray Bradburyamong my top guest lecturers. A compelling speaker, engaging writer and talented artist, our Library was fortunate to listen to such a spellbinding host.
Rebecca Porter, Librarian, Orange County Public Library, Laguna Beach, California