Author Study

Reading Room 223

What is an author study?

An author study is the study of an author that allows us to learn about the author's life and work. When we study an author, we evaluate the author's theme, character's and writing style. We also try to make connections between the author's life and writing as well as make personal connections with the author.


February Author Study

The next author we will be studying is Jerry Spinelli! Read on for more information about Jerry, his books and tasks that you will need to complete throughout our author study! Remember that in addition to posting online and completing these tasks, you should be prepared in class to discuss your reading and thinking.

Who is Jerry Spinelli?

Well, simply put, Jerry Spinelli is a man. A man that writes. A lot. He is an author that many of you have heard of. In fact, we have many of his books sitting in our classroom library!



Visit Jerry Spinelli's website to find out some interesting facts about him, why he became a writer and where all of his ideas come from.


*** Once you've checked out his website, click here to share a fact you thought was interesting and how it impacted him as a writer with the class.

Above are several of Jerry Spinelli's books. As you know, he has written many books- at least 21! Visit his website and you will find more of his titles. With your partner, choose one of his books to read and enjoy! Many of Spinelli's books are in our classroom, but if we don't have it, I bet the school library will! Let me know if you need help finding, or choosing, a book.


*** Once you have chosen a book, click here to share what you've chosen!

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In class, we will be discussing the books we are reading in addition to what we are learning about Jerry Spinelli. Each partnership/group of students will be sharing their thinking online. You will be journaling your ideas in the form of a short letter or journal entry, and responding to one another as well as me.


At the conclusion of our author study, each pair of students will have the opportunity to choose from one of the culminating activities described below.


Webquest: Using the information that you have learned about Jerry Spinelli, you will create a web quest, or exploration, where you will pose questions that your classmates will answer. You will need to provide resources where they can find answers.

Dramatization: With your partner, and any other students needed, you will choose a short scene from your book, and act it out. The dramatization should display your insight into the author's work. You will record the dramatization and we'll share it on our website!

Musical Rendition: Choose a meaningful part of the book you made and turn it into a song. You'll share this with your classmates and we'll post it on our website.

Comic Strip: With your partner, you will create a storyboard/comic strip that illustrates a potential pre-quel or sequel to the book you have just read. The storyboard/comic strip will be written in a style similar to that of Jerry Spinelli.


*** We will discuss these culminating projects further in class. You will be provided with a rubric and exemplars to assist you in completing the project.