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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans

Author Study

Project URL:

How it works:
Students, in cooperative learning groups, read books written by Laura Numeroff and analyze the author's style with the use of a semantic web. They practice word processing skills using Write On Plus, Writing With Picture Books. They follow a sequence map to create a story using the author's style that they have studied. The story is illustrated and published as a book, or presented as a computer slide show.

1. Read and comprehend at least four books on the same subject, or by the same author, or
in the same genre.
2. Read aloud fluently.
3. Produce a response to literature.
4. Produce a narrative account.
5. Participate in group meetings.
6. Prepare and deliver a presentation.
7. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the rules of the English language in written and oral
8. Analyze and subsequently revise work to improve its clarity and effectiveness.
9. Produce work in at least one genre that follows the conventions of the genre.

What you need:
Books: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, If You Give A Pig A Pancake, by Laura Numeroff

Write On Plus, Writing With Picture Books, by Sunburst

Kidpix, by Broderbund

Student Writing Center, by Learning Company or AppleWorks, by Claris or Microsoft Works


Overall value:
This unit can be done in cooperative learning groups for grades 2-4. Students should have some experience entering text on a computer and using a drawing and painting application. Students develop a sense of pride and accomplishment at being able to produce a finished book or slide show to present. They also develop respect for others, and the ability to work as part of a group. Students take a step further in reaching English Language Arts Standards, particularly in developing the concept that authors use different styles of writing. This unit will help instill in children a love for literature and writing.

Tips for teachers:
In forming cooperative learning groups, roles such as reader, secretary, graphic artist, information processor, publisher, and presenter can be assigned. The reader reads the book to the group; the secretary records group responses; the information processor enters the story the group will create on the computer; the graphic artist illustrates the story; the publisher will bind the pages of the story into book form or prepare story board for the slide show; and the presenter shares the finished product with the whole class.

Carolyn Hornik has been a New York City public school teacher for twenty five years (12 years as a classroom teacher in third, fourth, and fifth grades and 13 years as a technology coordinator.) She teaches in-service courses for the New York City Board of Education After School Professional Development Program and on-line courses for new teachers through Teachers Network.


Estimated Class Periods To Complete: 10 or more

Subject: English, Social Studies

Beginning Grade Level: 4

Ending Grade Level: 8



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