Dav Pilkey Author Study
“Encourage kids to be creative without worrying about being perfect.” — Dav Pilkey
- Grades: 3–5
"Dav Pilkey's books have been known to be devoured by children aged seven to one hundred years old. Even the most reluctant readers just can't seem to get enough of that wedgie-wielding superhero, Captain Underpants! And then there are those riveting graphic novels by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby and the brand-new The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future.
"This guide is designed for teachers who have desperately tried to pry Dav Pilkey's books from the hands of students during math, social studies, and science lessons. It is based on the radical concept that, hey, maybe the students who love these books so much might actually be learning something from them! Included you will find ideas for use in the classroom that will enrich your curriculum and create outrageous amounts of fun and learning." — from The Ultimate Epic Guide to Using Dav Pilkey's Books in the Classroom
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 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 Dav Pilkey and choosing some of his books to read — some of which have free teaching resources, such as booktalks, discussion guides, and extension activites. The teaching guide below has excellent ideas on how to make these books applicable to a classroom setting.
- List of Works
- The Ultimate Epic Guide to Using Dav Pilkey's Books in the Classroom
- Grownups Guide to Captain Underpants
Related Book Lists
Students will enjoy performing the humorous story of 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving while practicing public speaking skills like maining eye contact and clear enunciation.
Using The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby as an example, students will understand the graphic-novel format and create their own comics.