Author Study (Chris Van Allsburg)


Third graders study a list of books written and illustrated by the author. They examine facts about the author's life. They take a survey of Allsburg's books read by the students using the Excel spreadsheet.

Resource Details

Database & Spreadsheet

To Inform

Unfortunately, not all books are intended as entertainment, many are written to educate and inform readers. In the second instructional activity of this series, the teacher reads aloud the children's book Apples by Gail Gibbons, pointing out the characteristics of the writing that indicate the text is informational. Children then work in small groups sorting through books from the class library, separating the entertaining, fictional stories from the pieces of nonfiction writing. This is a great instructional activity to teach at the beginning of the year, familiarizing children the different features of expository texts that they'll be encountering throughout their education.

Beyond Book Reports

Book study activities can inspire page turning literature analysis of point of view, author's purpose, and much more.

New Picture Books to Complement Your Curriculum

These picture books are for primary learners and older students alike.

Author Study

Students examine and identify the characteristics of the different genres of literature. After being read and reading various stories, they identify how different books by the same author carry the same story elements. They discuss how authors use literacy devices as well.

Write and Illustrate a Book

Create a full-color, hardbound book on a topic of your choice. Scholars use narrative strategies to draft, revise, edit, illustrate, and publish their stories using a free publishing program for schools. These books are then available for parents to purchase.

Who is your Favorite Author?

Learners explore various books to discover a favorite author.  In this book reading lesson, students work in groups to find the similarities in an author's books.  Learners chart how the authors books were similar. Students create an illustration of a book by their author and write about that author's style of writing.

Patricia Polacco Author Study

Can learning more about an author help you understand his or her writing? Help your students become better readers by studying great writers, such as Patricia Polacco, in this lesson about author's purpose. Use Polacco's website to "introduce" her to your students, and work with them on a variety of reading and writing activities to reinforce the concept of author's purpose.

Bring Science to Life With Lesson Plans for Eric Carle Books

An Eric Carle author study can lead students to study a variety of subjects including ocean life, life cycles, and symbiotic relationships.

Judging a Book by Its Cover

Students explore the relationship between the form of books and the content inside. In this book exploration lesson, students use a piece of their creative writing as inspiration; they author a written book and design a cover that reflects the content of their story. Students study bookmaking techniques from ancient and modern cultures for inspiration.

Cameras and Careers

Applying photography basics they learn for this project, first graders take pictures of an adult at work focusing on the tools used, the work site, and job responsibilities. After making a career book that includes photos and descriptions, photographer/writers present their work to the class. Begin with a week of career study, including guest speakers, to prepare. Can be easily and usefully adapted to current technology.

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