Thursday, July 3, 2014

Our Favorite Authors: Implementing Author Studies in the Classroom

Did you ever run through the library to see if your favorite book was on the shelf? Have you ever said, "Preorder? Yes, please!" to your computer screen? Then, chances are you have had a favorite author. Your students are no exception to this rule. Which books do they rush to grab from the book baskets or bookshelf during Read to Self time? You know which ones! That is why you stock up on those books when they are the $1 book in the Scholastic flyer or in a collection pack at Sam's Club. 

Would your students like to be introduced to more books by their favorite authors or even learn more about the life of the author? Maybe an author spotlight is a feature that you want to add to your classroom next year. It can be very easy to set up and maintain. Here is a quick example I created about Kevin Henkes with labeled instructions for implementing this idea in your room, too. 
Sorry this picture isn't cheerier. It is summer and this was taken in my home office. I refuse to step foot into the school building until August! :)
1. The chart paper I had at home isn't lined. So, I improvised by adding some printed words and clip art (Thanks, Melonheadz!)
2. I found a picture of Kevin Henkes through Google images and printed it out.
3. I added his biography from my new Authors in the Spotlight pack.
4. I scanned some of my book covers and printed them out.
5. I placed all of the books by Kevin Henkes that I had here at home in a basket. 
6. I added a touch of whimsy with a stuffed character. I ordered this Penny doll this week because my RtI students are starting out the year reading Penny and Her Song.
7. Kids love choices! So, each red folder contains a different activity from my new pack. Students can choose how they want to respond to what they read. Find out more below! 

I just added this set of biographies and activities to my TPT store. The activities included are completely generic and can be used for any author study. Right now, the pack features biographies (color and b/w) for Jan Brett, Eric Carle, Doreen Cronin, Roald Dahl, Theodor Seuss Geisel, Kevin Henkes, Ezra Jack Keats, Ruth Krauss, Beatrix Potter, David Shannon, Mo Willems, and Margaret Wise-Brown. If you are interested in this pack, you may want to purchase it soon. I will be adding more biographies to the set when the artist is finished creating more images and the price will increase. If you buy it now, you can download any updated versions for free!

Here is a sneak peek at one of the activities in this set! Many thanks to my sweet soon to be second grader for his help on this one! It is summer after all, but he was a good sport about it! I did let him dictate his sentences though. ;)
Which author's books are a must have in your classroom library? I know that my room couldn't function without the works of so many talented authors! It is hard to choose a favorite!


  1. How do I NOT have Penny and Her Song? I am putting it in my Amazon cart pronto! I also put this new product in my TpT cart tonight! Thanks for your wonderful work!

    1. I am using Penny and Her Song and Penny and Her Doll as remediation texts during the first few weeks of school. I love that Kevin Henkes has branched out into making some leveled readers! I hope that you will enjoy the book! Thanks for your kind words about my work!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Stacy! I appreciate the sweet comment!

  3. Is there any chance you could add Mary Pope Osborne?

  4. Is there any chance you could add Mary Pope Osborne?

    1. I would love to add her! I submitted a list of suggestions to the clip art designer. I can't wait to see who she draws next. My fingers are crossed for Mary Pope Osborne will be included. :)

  5. Where did you get your spotlight clip art? It's exactly what I am looking for!

    1. Hi,Tanya! I purchased the spotlight art on Teachers Pay Teachers. It is a set created by Melonheadz called Hollywood clip art.