Author's Chair

Literacy Strategy #4

What is an Author's Chair?

An author's chair is a special chair designated for student's to read their writing aloud to the class (whether the writing is in the beginning stages or is a finished product). When students read their rough drafts aloud to their peers, they are able to receive positive feedback and support as well as ideas and suggestions for revision.

Examples of Author's Chairs

Steps:

1. Decide on a special chair to be your classroom author's chair. This chair shouldn't just be any ordinary chair- it should stand out, be bright, and students should look forward to getting to share their writing in it! (Don't pass up those yard sales any longer- they may have the perfect DIY one waiting for you!)


2. Explain how the author's chair will be used.


3. Sit in the author's chair. Only one student can sit in the author's chair at once. Classmates can gather around in a circle on the carpet.


4. Share writing.


5. Invite listeners to comment. Students on the carpet are still supposed to still raise their hand if they wish to comment or make a suggestion to the reader.


6. Call on classmates. It is the job of the reader to decide who they wish to call on. Before beginning the sharing process, the teacher should clarify how many students the author gets to call on after reading- for example, each student will receive two positive comments from their classmates and one thing that was confusing to the reader.

Why use an Author's Chair?

Donald Graves and Jane Hansen have documented students' awareness of authors and have noted that students' begin to see themselves as authors when they are given the opportunity to read a piece they have written aloud to their class. Students also learn that they have options when they write, and this awareness continues to grow after they have experimented with different forms, purposes, and audiences of writing.
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More ideas...

If you wish to take the author's chair even further in your class you can designate a student to video record students reading and then create podcasts of students sharing their writing from the author's chair. After filming, the video can be uploaded and set to music sharing bits from each piece. This would be a wonderful way to showcase to parents and administrators what your class has been writing about!!