Connecting students with the authors who write their favorite books can be a very powerful tool! Not only will it inspire them as readers, but as writers as well.
After reading book(s) by a particular author, find a way for students to connect with the writer to bring his or her stories to life!
Why Connect with Authors?
A professional author can impart first-hand knowledge of writing and the publishing process with your students. They are experts in their field and can share “real-world” experiences. Not only will it be riveting for students, but inspiring for teachers as well. It gives the opportunity to close the gaps between school and the real-world.
Ways to Connect with Authors:
- Author Visit – the most powerful way to connect with authors is to have an author visit your school and present to your students. This, however, is probably the most difficult and can be expensive. Check out this blog post for some ideas on having an author visit your school!
- Skype with an Author – If you can’t get an author to visit your school, technology makes it easy to still make a personal connection with them! This blog post has lost of tips for Skyping with an author!
- Social Media – Many authors have a social media presence. Have your students work together to compose a tweet to a favorite author. Or, if you are doing a whole class book study, have students post a photo of your class reading the book and tag the author in it. Most authors love hearing from their young readers and your students will be so excited if they get a response!
- Hand-Written Letter – have your students write a good ole fashioned hand-written letter! You can easily find author addresses on their website. Students can design cards and write their letter on the inside. You could compose a letter together as a class or students can write individual letters. This is a great way to practice letter writing and addressing envelopes, as well!
- Book Signing Events – many authors do book talks/signings at local libraries or book stores. Research the author’s website or social media handles to find schedules of when they are visiting an area near you. Let parents know the date and location of the event. Invite your students to go and let them know that you are planning to attend. To gain interest in the event, read the author’s books in class.
One last way that you can get your students to learn more about their favorite authors is by watching interviews with them or hearing them read aloud their own book. It isn’t as personal, but can still be a great way to bring books to life for your students. They’ll be able to see and hear the author as well as get extra insight into the books the author has written.
Connecting students with authors is a powerful way to engage them in books and reading, in general. Before you know it, you’ll have some great readers and writers in your classroom! What are some other ways you’ve been able to connect with authors?
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