Author Studies in the Classroom
01 October 2015 / authors
The first thing you need to know -how to pronounce the author's name correctly! Do a bit of research to find out the correct pronunciation. I love this Pronouncing dictionary of author's names! It's a great place to start.
Here are a few ideas for learning about authors:
One way that students can learn about authors is through an author study. Why should students do author studies? Isn't the content of the book the most important thing? Do they need to know who wrote their favorite series?
Author studies are a great way to get students connected with books and another step to help them become life-long readers. When a book lover reads a good book he or she is anxious to find more books by the same author. We want our students to have that same excitement about reading. When students learn about authors they discover new books, try new genres and seek out additional books to read. It also benefits students as they learn more about the writing process from published authors. They learn tips that they can use in their writing and often become motivated to work on their own writing. The Reading Rockets website has a good list of the benefits of author studies.
A few of the things that students can do during author studies: read various books by the same author, do a Venn diagram to compare & contrast the books, learn about authors that write in a similar style, study the author (see ways to connect with authors below) and write questions for the author and connect via social media.
Author visits are a great way to build connections with an author.Here are some tips for preparing for an author visit. You can also check to see if an author is visiting your community. You may just be able to join a visit that is already scheduled. There is even a website that lists authors by state so that it is easier to find and schedule a local author for a visit to your school.
There are many authors who will schedule Skype calls with classrooms. I haven't done this yet, but hope to get started with a few this year. It would be so much fun and a great experience for the students. Kate Messner, children's book author, has a list of authors who will skype with classrooms.
My family is full of book lovers and we may be slightly obsessed with buying and reading books. Here is a picture of my boys at a book sale a year ago.
**The next book sale is coming soon and I can't wait! Our library sells the children's books for a quarter!**
There are so many things that build enthusiasm for reading, but one of those is engaging with the author of a book. My boys were really enjoying the Cryptid Hunter series by Roland Smith a few years ago (they still love them, but are always waiting for new ones now!). I decided I'd tweet him a message about how much the boys love his books. He tweeted back! The boys were so excited and love that author even more now!
LISTEN TO AUTHOR INTERVIEWS
Another way to learn about authors is to listen to interviews. Authors will often share things like how they get ideas for books, details about the characters in their stories, their writing process and their path to become a published writer. These stories may inspire your young writers to greater heights!
I've created a QR code bundle that includes author and illustrator interviews. Students scan the code to listen to the interview. They are YouTube videos, but the QR codes link the videos through safeshare for student viewing. You can find that pack here and a freebie sampler here.
Thanks for reading! I would love to hear how you connect with favorite children's authors in your classroom.
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