Research an Author
Teachers often give students background information about an author before reading a book. In addition to providing interesting information for the reader, this knowledge often helps the reader understand the author's purpose in writing.
In this activity, you will help your students gain knowledge about an author by using the Internet. To develop this activity, use the following steps. When you have finished, save your written work to submit as an assigment.
- Think about what you want your students to know about the author. Use the following ideas as a guide:
- Consider what is interesting and unusual about this author's life.
- Decide which events in the author's life affected his/her writing.
- Think about the number and type(s) of books the author has written.
- Consider the audience(s) of the books this author writes.
- Has the author won any prizes? What does that tell you about the book/the author?
- What is the relationship between the author and his/her illustrator, if there is one? How was that illustrator chosen?
- Develop a broad question to guide students' inquiry.
- Find several Web sites about the author.
- Develop specific questions that will help students access the important ideas on the Web sites provided.
For example, for the author Cynthia Rylant:
- General question: How did Cynthia Rylant's childhood and young adult experiences influence her writing?
- Here are several URLs with information on Cynthia Rylant:
- Where and when was she born?
- Where did she live growing up?
- With whom did she live during her childhood?
- When did she decide to become an author?
- What kinds of books has she written?
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