Last week, I posted about inviting an author to come visit your school. It is an inspiring way to gt your students engaged in both reading and writing. However, that can often be expensive and a lot of work to put together. Luckily, technology offers us another option that is more cost and time-effective. Host a Skype visit with an author!
A virtual visit with is probably the easiest and cheapest way to invite an author into your classroom. You will be able to eliminate travel fees and some authors are even willing to chat for free! Here are some ideas for hosting a successful Skype visit with an author:
Learn more about the author
Before your virtual author visit, help students learn more about your visitor. Be sure to read the books that they have written and even study their writing style. With your students, research the author’s background. This will allow your students to be more familiar with them before the big day.
If you are interested in this author biography template, just enter your info at the end of the post and I’ll send it to you for free!
Prepare questions ahead of time
Check with the author to see if they are willing to take questions from your students. Then, have students come up with questions to ask ahead of time. As a class, choose 3-5 of the top questions (or however many the author is okay with). The author may want the questions before the presentation in order to prepare. If not, nominate a few different students to speak to the author during the presentation.
Make sure your tech is working
Before the Skype visit, make sure that you have all the technology that is required and that it works (we all know how that goes!). Try a practice run just so that you make sure you know how to use it! It might be helpful to have some back-up technology, just in case.
Allow students to write
After your author visit, your students will definitely be inspired to write! Allow them time that day to write creatively – you’ll be amazed at what they come up with! They may also want to re-read some of the books by the author, to look at them through a different eye. Providing students time to do both will build engagement and interest in reading and writing.
Write a thank you note to the author
Students should also write thank you notes to the author for sharing their time with them. Brainstorm what they learned from the author and how it will help them as readers and/or writers. You could even have students turn their notes into cards by adding illustrations. This is also a great way to practice letter writing and addressing an envelope!
Author visits (virtual or in-person) are just one way of connecting with famous writers. What are some other ways you have been able to bring books to life for your students? I encourage you to give it a try!