Celebrate Books with an Author Study
Children’s Book Week is a great time to inspire a love of reading in your classroom.
By Cathy Neushul
As children, we all read books that we would classify as unforgettable. For me, those books include Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, and Socks by Beverly Cleary. Since this month we will celebrate Children’s Book Week, it is a good time to dust off your favorites, and break out some new ones to help your class experience the beauty of reading.
Where Do You Read?
This may not be something we usually ask learners, but you should ask them when and how they like to read. Is it in bed before going to sleep? at the breakfast table as they eat? or in a window seat overlooking the backyard? Getting comfy in a favorite chair and opening up a book is my idea of a good time.
List Your Class’ Favorite Books
Kick off a celebration of books by having your class name their favorites. List their responses on a bulletin board or poster so that everyone in the room can see it. Then, have learners write a short synopsis of what their book was about and why they liked it. You can add this information to the posted class list.
Designate a day to have students bring in their favorite books to share. This is a great way to help them come up with lists of books they would like to read.
Delve Into the Life of an Author
Ask each pupil to pick a favorite author and explore his/her website. J.K. Rowling, Jeff Kinney, and Suzanne Collins have some great sites. Learners can find out about the author’s background, interests, education, etc. For example, I found out that Jeff Kinney was a cartoonist, he wanted to work for a newspaper, and he first published his stories on his website. Have your class take notes on all the information they find. Make sure you leave time for sharing their findings with one another. Sharing with the class is a good way to make sure that everyone is getting the most from his research.
Afterwards, you can have learners create a presentation displaying information about the author of their choice. They can include pictures, information, videos, and more. This can be done using PowerPoint, iMovie, or another program. Learners can be creative by using graphics, sound, and more. What a terrific way to celebrate the beauty of books.
Celebrate Your Own Authors
After discussing the works of others, have your class create their own works of art. Ask them to write a story using one of their favorite books as a model. You can ask for the stories to be either long or short. Or, if you wish, this story can be the first installment in a series by your class authors.
Children’s Book Week is a great time to share favorite books, discover some new ones, and even create new literary works. The class lists you compile will be useful for summer reading suggestions. What a great way to celebrate reading!
Learners discuss six authors, conduct research, and create a presentation. Featuring Eve Bunting, Tomie de Paola, and several other authors, this resource can be used as a template for an author’s study.
Using Gary Paulsen, this lesson shows how to design an author’s study. Learners discuss Paulsen’s books, his website, and more. Then, they choose their own author to research. There are detailed instructions describing the things that should be included in an author’s study.
This resource leads learners through a discussion of the steps to creating an author’s study. They brainstorm a list of their favorite authors, choose one author to research, and make a presentation. This resource provides a simple template which can be used for other explorations.
Learners kick off a year of literary discovery with this exercise. Your class goes on an online book hunt using this resource. This is a great way to get your class excited about reading.