Author's Chair

Strategy #4

What is an Author's Chair?

An author's chair is a special chair placed in the classroom that is exclusively for students to sit in and share their writing with their classmates. It can be a rocking chair, a lawn chair, a directors chair, or any other type of chair that is clearly labeled "Author's Chair." Students can share their writings in the author's chair at any point in their writing process. For example, they can share their rough draft to receive feedback from their classmates about how they can revise their writing. When students share their published writings, this is a time for students to celebrate their classmate's accomplishment. An author's chair can be used at all grade levels but it is most important in primary classrooms when students are building the concept of authorship.

Why use an Author's Chair?

  • After students have listened to many books being read to them and have read many books themselves, they understand that authors are the people who write books.

  • Next, students can see themselves as authors too when they write their own pieces. Having students share their writings with the class in the author's chair allows the student to visualize themselves as real authors and build confidence in the their writing.

  • Finally, students learn that they have their own opinions and ideas when they write. When students share their writing with the class and hearing other students' writings they receive and give constructive feedback as well as encourage one another to keep progressing.

When do you use an Author's Chair in your classroom?

  • Having students share their writings orally with the class can be done during any phase of the writing process.
  • It can be beneficial to have students share while they are still working to get feedback from their peers and make improvements for the final draft.
  • It is also beneficial to have students share the final draft of their writing in order to celebrate their accomplishment with their classmates. This boots students confidence in their writings and motivates them to continue to improve.

How do you use an Author's Chair in your classroom?

1. Choose a special chair- chairs can be purchased cheaply at garage sales or secondhand stores. Then, add a sign that clearly designates the chair as the "Author's Chair." The chairs can be decorated anyway you would like.

2. Explain to students how the author's chair will be used- students will use this chair only to share their writing with their classmates during a writing workshop or other writing activities.

3. Students will sit in the author's chair- one student sits in the author's chair. Their classmates can sit either on the floor or in chairs around the author.

4. Author will share their writing- the student author will share their writing orally with the rest of the class and show any illustrations they have.

5. Classmates will provide feedback- students are encouraged to raise their hand to give compliments, add comments, or ask questions about the author's writing.

6. Author will call on other classmates- the student sitting in the author's chair will now choose 1-2 classmates to express any comments they may have and then will choose 1 classmate to share in the author's chair next.

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A digital twist on an Author's Chair

  • To add technology into a student author's presentation a computer and a large-screen monitor can be used.
  • This allows the audience to read along with the author or read it to themselves.
  • This also allows students to show their knowledge of computers.

Common Core State Standards- Reading: Foundational Skills and Writing

When students share their writing by use of an author's chair they develop both as readers and as writers.

  • Students write for varied audiences
  • Students publish their writing
  • Students read accurately and with expression to support their comprehension

Works Cited

Tompkins, G. (2013). 50 Literacy Strategies Step by Step (4th ed., pp. 10-11). Fresno, California: Pearson.