Grade: Elementary

#2285. intermadiate author studies

Reading/Writing, level: Elementary
Posted Sat Jun 16 10:38:39 PDT 2001 by leeann story (
Pine Run Elementary School, New Britain, PA
Materials Required: author's books, author corner, internet resources
Activity Time: Monthly activities and a culminating project
Concepts Taught: Reading, analyzing and responding to literature and researching authors

Lesson Purpose: Helping students to become life long readers is a hope & a dream of mine. Learning about different authors will help children to develop more of an interest in reading as well as help them to discover the genres and styles which appeal to them most as readers. The children will get to know authors, see them as real people and discover that they can be authors too. This is not 1 particular lesson but a plan for a year long author study.

Lesson Objectives:(you must provide at least one)

1. Students will read, analyze and respond to literature

2. Students will develop an awareness & appreciation of aouthors, genres and styles

3. Students will use technology to research authors and collect information

4. Students will organize author information into a presentation and communicate with others

Core Lesson Plan Activities:(e.g. introduction, activities, discussions,
tests, wrap-ups, etc.)

Lesson Activity #1 (Introduction):

Information: Throughout the school year I will introduce the students to a new author each month. We will read through their picture books, identify elements of the authors style and students will record information in their own author notebooks. Author notebooks will consist of pages for students to : 1. List books published by the author 2. A page to stop & jot during teacher read aloud 3. Develop a written response to 1 of the author's texts 4. List elements of the author's style 5. Record information about the author's life. I will model this process for the first few months of school until students are able to complete the activities more independently. I will vary the methods in which these notebooks are completed beginning with it as a whole class activity, then using cooperative groups, partnerships, and small group instruction as well . For the rest of this lesson I will record what 1 particular author study will look like throughout the month. Jean Craighead George is an author who really appeals to my fourth graders. We begin the reading theme "Earth Patrol" which includes selections and stories about preserving & protecting the earth. Jean C. George is an author who is committed to explaining the beauty of the earth to children in a magical way. She, therefore, will be our Novemeber author of the month

Lesson Activity #1 (Introduction) - Supporting Web
This site is a reference site for me as an educator. It links me to author sites. Especially valuable sites are indicated with an identified icon.

Lesson Activity # 2: Jean Craighead George's books will be on display in our Author of the Month library in a cozy corner of the room. I will gather the students together, introduce the author and her books and explain why I selected her. I will then read aloud one of her many picture books. Students will be asked to stop & jot their thoughts and ideas, feelings and opinions as the story is read aloud. Each child is responsible for 1 stop & jot for each book read aloud. Students will share what they recorded at the conclusion of the read aloud and I will add their ideas to a class chart. Students will record in their author notebooks a list of the author's books.
This will occur with at least 3 of the author's books throughout the month.

Lesson Activity #2 - Supporting Web Information:
Jean Craighead George' s web site provides a list of all the books she has written.

Lesson Activity #3:
Students will research the author at the computer lab and record information about Jean Cgaighead George on page 5 of their author notebook. When we return from the computer lab to our classroom, students will share what they discovered about J. George and I will record on a class chart.

Lesson Activity #3 - Supporting Web Information:
The official Jean Craighead George site which she shares information about herself with children.

Lesson Activity #4:
I will use the scaffolding approach to decide on reading partners for this activity. Partners will select one of the authors books from the author center to read, discuss and analyze together. They will record a written response to the literature on page 3 of their author notebooks. Written responses to the literature will be scored according to the PSSA rubric - which students will be familiar with. I will work with a small group of students who may not yet be ready for this level of work to guide them in the completion of this task. Student responses to literature will be shared and celebrated in a whole class sharing session.

Lesson Activity 5:
Author Style- now that students have been exposed to a fair amount of the author's books we will brainstorm and provide examples of elements of the author's style. First I will review with the students the list of the authors books. In cooperative groups they will brainstorm elements of the authors style and provide an example of each. Cooperative groups will be given chart paper, markers, postit notes, etc and asked to create a graphic organizer or chart to display their ideas. Cooperative groups will present their findings to the class. Students will record information in their author notebook.

Lesson Activity #6 (Wrap-Up): At the end of the school year- May students will choose from one of the authors we studied this year or select one they'd like to research to create a project. The project and research will be completed in school.and presented to the class. Students will reasearch an author and create 1 of the following to display their information: a powerpoint presentation, a graphic presentation from Inspirations or a hyperstudio stack. All of these programs are learned throughout the school year in the media center and is the reason they will be able to choose from these 3 mediums.The final presentations will be assessed according to the project and presentation rubrics we use throughout the school year.

Lesson Activity #6 (Wrap-Up) - Supporting Web
Our media specialist can help the students to display their media projects at : or even on our own school web page.

Other authors of the month will be:
Jack Prelutsky
Patricia MacLachlan
Lynn Cherry
Allen Say
Chris VanAllsburg
Janell Cannon
Dr. Seuss

I would enjoy hearing from anyone out there who can provide feedback of any kind on this project. thank you!!