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    ideas on author studies
    By Rebecca

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    All three of these authors have great websites. We start each author study by "meeting" the author. This is just gathering and reviewing background info. We might map where they were born; maybe even compare that to where they live now. Patricia Polacco is my favorite. I love her books!
    In each author study, I group students in small groups (4 or 5 students). Each group takes one of the author's books and reads it together. I might give them a "question card" for them to fill out. They present their book to the class(they might make a poster, do a skit, cereal book ad [I'll be happy to share this idea if you have never seen this one--CUTE!]whatever they choose). This helps everyone see a lot of the books by that author and it might spark an interest in them wanting to read it for themselves. Sometimes, we might not present the books and I just let them rotate reading each.

    Polacco's website has pictures from her books and you can print them out. I pasted them on posterboard and laminated them. There might be questions for each group's picture(s). We talk about the illustrations and the medium used. I have even had them do a compare/contrast activity (use a venn diagram)with books by that author. We talk about what goes into making a book (I have a website that I like on that activity--I will have to get back to you on that). Polacco's website "takes you to work" with her.

    With Kellogg, I like to take a book that he has written (like Johnny Appleseed) and compare it to another story of J. Appleseed by another author. His illustrations are great too. My kids can pick out books that these authors have written without looking at their names because they can distiguish by the pictures.

    Tomie Depaola does a lot with culture and traditions (holidays). I love these! Also, his wordless picture book about pancakes is good to let the whole class fill in the text for it and rewrite the book and illustrate it. We have a pancake breakfast in the fall so I do that then. I have lots of activities for his book,Strega Nona but they are out of my reach this summer.
    Hope these help you!

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