Author Study Guide
Tips and resources for conducting an author study in your classroom.
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
An author study is an excellent way to investigate and celebrate the work of a writer. One of the best ways to "meet an author" is through his or her books. As students read the books or listen to them on tape, encourage them to note the different genres that an author works in and to examine the copyright dates as a way of delineating the path of an author's career.To launch an author study, you might:
- Display a selection of an author's work.
- List interesting facts about an author on a poster pad.
- Assign one of the author's books as independent or group reading, or read one book aloud to the class.
- Ask students to read one or more other books by the author so they can compare themes, settings, characters, plots, and styles.
- Follow up with discussions and activities to promote comprehension and appreciation of the author's work.
- You might assign groups of students to monitor different aspects of the author's work. For example, one group might investigate the picture books while another group might explore books for older readers. Encourage students to make comparisons among the author's different books.
Start your author study by reading a short biography of the author and choosing some of her books to read — some of which have Free Teaching Resources, such as booktalks, discussion guides, and extension activites. Additional Author ResourcesEnrich your future author studies by taking advantage of our collection of biographies and interviews with the best-loved authors in children's literature.
Internet Field Trips
This content resource lists Web sites with information on children's literature, including authors, publishers, articles, and links. Links to author sites and a teacher guide are included.
This content resource lists the Web sites of children's literature journals, which feature book reviews, author interviews, and suggestions for curriculum use.
Provides activities and information to complement children's books by Jan Brett, Virginia Hamilton, Dr. Suess, with links to the Internet Public Library.
Provides Web sites with information on celebrating children's book week. Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site, the Internet Public Library Web site, and the Children's Book Council's Web site are featured.
Links to and discusses the Web sites of a few winners of the Caldecott Medal, including Chris Van Allsburg, Eric Carle, and Tomie dePaola.