We Are All Authors
- Grades: PreK–K
- Unit Plan:
Students will recognize that they are authors too. Using their favorite authors' books as models, they will create their own book.
- Distinguish parts of a book: title, author, illustrator, front cover, back cover, dedication page, and author-biography page.
- Select a story to publish.
- Transfer knowledge about books while writing their own.
- Baskets of author books from Lesson Two
- Chart paper
- Student writing portfolios or a selected writing piece from the students
- Digital or analog camera
- Colored cardstock for front and back covers for each student
- Blank paper
- Crayons, colored markers and pencils
- Title Page Template (PDF)
- Dedication Page Template (PDF)
- Author Biography Page Template (PDF)
- Stickers or labels for publishing
- Glue sticks
Set Up and Prepare
- Set baskets of author books around the room.
- Select one of the books from each basket to show the title, author, illustrator, front cover, back cover, dedication page, and author-biography page, including a biography and photograph of the author.
- Make sure you have a selected writing piece for each student, either edited or non-edited, completed before teaching this lesson.
- Print a sticker entitled Published by The Kindergarten Press on (Date) for each student prior to Day 6.
- Because each student book is a published piece and others will be encouraged to read it, I sometimes will type the title page, the dedication page, the text of the story, and the author biography page from what the students have written prior to Day 6. The students love to see their writing typed like professional authors. For the text of the story, this means they will need to make new illustrations. You may choose to do the same or simply bind the student pages upon completion.
Step 1: Gather students together and remind them of all the authors they were learning about in Lesson Two. Show the students the book you selected to demonstrate the features. Point out the various parts you want to emphasize in the lesson: front cover, title, author, illustrator, title page, dedication page, back cover, and author-biography page. As you talk about each feature, list them on chart paper.
Step 2: Invite the students to select a different author from the one they examined in Lesson Two. Ask them to choose a basket and take a close look at all the book features that are charted. Remind them that if there are four people at a basket, to choose another place.
Step 3: Gather students together and collect one book from each basket. Show and read the book features for each book.
Step 1: Ask students to look through their writing folders to select one of their stories that they would like to publish. This can be an edited or non-edited piece. Some students may need help selecting a piece. If students do not have a writing folder or collection of writing, you may want to have students free write a story prior to this lesson. Tell students that they will be creating a book about their story that contains all the features they have discussed, like those of their favorite authors.
Step 2: Gather the students together with their writing piece. Using the selected book, show the students the title page and indicate where you have written that on the book features chart. On a large piece of chart paper, model how to create the title page with the title, author and illustrator. Use the form, "written by [Student name]" and "illustrated by [Student name]." Remind the students that they are the author and illustrator of their books. Ask each student to tell what their piece is about, and help them think of a title.
Step 3: Distribute blank paper or the Title Page Template printable. Invite the students to write their title as best they can and list the author and illustrator in the proper format.
Step 4: Gather children together with their piece and title page. Call students up to share their title pages. As they do, clip the title page to the writing piece and collect.
Step 1: Gather students together. Indicate where you have written dedication page on the book features chart and show them the dedication page of selected books from the author baskets. Ask students to tell you what they notice about the dedication pages. Tell the students that authors sometimes dedicate their books to family, friends, or special people in their life. Ask students to think about to whom they want to dedicate their book. On a large piece of paper, model a dedication page with the form: This book is dedicated to _____.
Step 2: Tell the students that they are going to make a dedication page for their book. Distribute blank paper or the Dedication Page Template printable to the students. Invite them to create a dedication page for their book.
Step 3: Gather children together to share their dedication pages. Call students up to share to whom they are dedicating their book. As they do, clip the dedication page to the clipped writing piece under the title page and collect.
Step 1: Gather students together. Indicate where you have written author biography page on the book features chart and show them the author biography page of selected books from the author baskets. Tell them that the word biography means information about someone. Ask students to tell you what they notice about the author pages. What kind of information about the author is included? Chart responses of what could be included on the author biography page.
Step 2: Tell the students that they are going to make an author biography page for their book. Since they are the author, they will be writing about themselves. On the biography page, they can write about the things charted. Distribute writing paper or the Author-Biography Page template printable to the students. Invite them to create an author-biography page for their book. If using the template, guide students through the responses in a whole group setting.
Step 3: Gather children together to share their author biography pages. Call students up to share their biography pages. As they do, clip the author biography page at the back of the clipped writing piece and collect.
Step 4: Using either a digital or analog camera, take a picture of each student to later adhere to the published author-biography page.
Step 1: Gather the students together. Using the selected books, show the students the front covers and indicate where you have written that on the book features chart. Point out how the authors have included the same information as is on their title page: the title, author and illustrator. The students can use their title page to write the same information on their covers. Show how the authors have included an illustration that shows the character or characters in the book and what happens in the story.
Step 2: Distribute blank paper to the students. Invite the students to create their covers. Encourage students to draw a picture that shows the characters in their story and something that happens to them.
Step 3: Gather children together with their book covers. Show them how to glue the book covers and their author biography page to the colored cardstock to make the front and back covers. Call students up to select two pieces of colored cardstock. As they do, give them their author biography page and picture to glue on the cardstock.
Step 4: Distribute glue sticks and allow students to glue their covers and author biographies. As they finish, collect the pieces and clip the covers to the writing pieces in the appropriate places.
Step 5: If you wish to type the student work, then do so prior to Day 6. Type the student's title page, the dedication page, the story text -leaving space for illustrations- and the author-biography page, affixing the photo when complete.
Step 1: This is the day the students will assemble their book. Before students arrive, staple or bind the student books in the following order:
- The front cover with the book cover page
- Title page
- Dedication page
- Story text with space for illustrations
- The back cover with author biography page and photo
Step 2: Gather the students together and tell them that today they are going to publish their books. Show the students one of the bound or stapled books. If applicable, point out that the title page, the dedication page, and the story have been typed just like any published book. Show them that they will need to be illustrators and draw the pictures for their stories. Tell them that when they finish, they can put a publishing sticker on the inside of the front cover of their book.
Step 3: Distribute the books to the students so they can illustrate their books. As they finish, give them a publishing sticker to place on the inside of the front cover.
Step 4: Gather the students together and have them practice reading their books.
Supporting All Learners
For students that are not yet able to write, take dictation. Help students who cannot read their stories by reading it with them until they have memorized it.
- Set up a dramatic play library in the classroom.
- Attach library check out slips to the student-made books and allow another class to check them out.
Invite the families to come and hear the authors read their stories. I like to have five students sitting at a table and encourage family visitors to walk around and stop and listen to the young authors reading their books.
Make a book using a selected story.
- Were students able to complete all sections of their book?
- Was the student able to read her or his own book?
- Was there enough time for students to be successful?
- What would I do differently?
Observe how students read or retell their stories, including turning pages, and expression.