Lesson plan

I Am an Author

It's time for some storytelling fun. In this creative lesson, students become authors and put together their own mini storybooks.
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  • Students will understand the concept of an author.
  • Students will understand the concept of an illustrator.
(5 minutes)
  • Hold up your short storybook, and read aloud the title and author's name.
  • Ask the students if they know what "by" means. Explain that it stands for "written by."
  • Let students know that every book is written by an author.
  • Point to the illustrations, or pictures, in the book. Explain to the students that the illustrator of a storybook or text creates the pictures in the book.
  • Ask students to turn and talk to a partner, explaining how pictures, or illustrations, help us understand what we read.
  • Hold up the storybook and nonfiction text. Explain to the students that both fiction (pretend) and nonfiction (books about real things like pandas, cats, and rainforests) have authors.
  • Explain to the students that fiction books usually have illustrations, or pictures, and sometimes nonfiction texts do, too. Flip through a few pages of the nonfiction text so students can review the illustrations/photographs.
  • Elaborate that many nonfiction books also have photographs because book is about real things!
(10 minutes)
  • Read the fictional storybook aloud to the students. Ask students to share some of their favorite parts of the story, and encourage students to review some major events from the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
  • Ask students to recall what the author and illustrator does.
  • Tell the students that everyone in the class is going to be an author and illustrator today! Explain to the students that they will write the words in their books and draw the pictures.
  • Ask students to think up some interesting titles using classroom items for inspiration. Jot their ideas on the whiteboard.
  • Show students your handmade mini books.
  • Point to the parts of the cover where the title, main illustration, and author's name are located (top, middle, and bottom, respectively).
(20 minutes)
  • Give each student a mini book and a box of colored pencils.
  • Have them write the titles they thought up earlier at the top of their book covers. They should also write "by" followed by their names at the bottom of the cover.
  • Ask them to create small drawings corresponding to their titles in the middle of their covers.
(5 minutes)
  • Have students work independently to fill in the pages of their book with sentences and drawings related to whatever classroom item they chose.
  • Enrichment: Advanced students can be asked to write a story that follows a sequence and has a proper beginning and end.
  • Support: Have struggling students focus on making illustrations. Visit them as they work and suggest sentences for them to write alongside their illustrations.
(5 minutes)
  • Observe students as they create their books. Pay attention to how well each student follows your instructions.
(10 minutes)
  • Allow volunteers to come up to the front of the class and read their books aloud.
  • Ask students to name the author and illustrator of each book as the students share aloud (e.g. Mya wrote the book, so she is the author. Mya drew the pictures, so she is the illustrator).
  • Have the students share out ideas of what books would be like without an author or without an illustrator. Encourage students to justify their reasoning by referring to books in the classroom library.

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