Thursday, April 18, 2013

Author Study

Hey frugal followers... it's almost Friday, get excited!!!  The dreaded FCAT is upon us and although our little guys don't have to take the BIG test - it has totally messed up our normal schedule.  It's amazing how much our classes rely on routine and it throws everything and everyone off when we switch it up.  Our district has one more week of testing and then things will go back to "normal".  In lieu of all this craziness, Melissa and I managed to squeeze in an author's study.  This week's feature was (drum roll please)... EZRA JACK KEATS!

Melissa and I absolutely love when we get the chance to do author studies with our firsties.  So far this year we've studied Jan Brett, Laura Numeroff, Eric Carle, and Dr. Seuss.  We hope to squeeze in Leo Leoni before summer gets here!  During these studies we discuss different titles, writing styles, illustrations, themes, plot, characters, and settings.  We also learn a little history behind the author.  We chose to study Ezra Jack Keats this week because our main selection was Whistle for Willie which was written and illustrated by Mr. Keats!  If you're not familiar with it, Whistle for Willie is an adorable story about a little boy named Peter who reeeeeally wants to learn how to whistle for his dog Willie.  He keeps trying and low and behold, by the end of the story, he learns how to whistle!  (like you didn't see that one coming haha)  The kids love it because it's a story that they can connect with. 

We kicked off our author's study by watching the Ezra Jack Keats video on Brainpop Jr.  This website is an AMAZING teacher resource!  It's soooo teacher AND kid-friendly!  Our students absolutely L-O-V-E Annie and Moby!  Thankfully our school has purchased a license for us, but you can also get an individual license for use - I'm not sure what the going rate is, but trust me, it's worth it!  We learned SO MUCH about Ezra and some of his books.  We added our new learning to our schema chart throughout the week. 
Grades (DC) - Voyager Elementary Technology

Here are some other books we read by Ezra Jack Keats...
Ezra Jack Keats is well known for his use of collage.  We learned all about collages and how to make them (thanks Annie and Moby).  To wrap up our author's study at the end of the week our firsties got to create their own collage masterpieces.  We pretty much emptied our entire closets onto our classroom carpets to give them every supply they could possibly need.  We used tissue paper, paint, string, yarn, paper bags, stencils, stickers, wallpaper, magazines, stamps, macaroni, ribbon, construction paper... and the list goes on and on!  Needless to say, they had a blast!  They were sooooo into it!  We were so impressed with their creativity!

Here's some of our creations...

Our students were coming back from the library this week eager to show us the Ezra Jack Keats books they found in the library!  They love rereading the stories we enjoyed together throughout the week! There are lots of online resources where you can find books by Ezra Jack Keats if you don't have them available in your school library.   Hope you enjoyed this little dose of creativity!  Until next time frugal followers!!!

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE author studies so thanks for sharing. Those collages are too cute!

    Love to Learn


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