Authors and Illustrators

Authors and Illustrators are people.  They are very talented people that we make sure to recognize in our classrooms daily.  Each classroom highlights an author every week.  The children learn about the authors in great detail: where they are from, books they have written, heck, if we can find out, we’ll even talk about their favorite foods.

We do this to make sure the children know that authors and illustrators are people and not just words on a page.  We post their pictures on the circle board all week.

Another way to reiterate that authors and illustrators are people, and to give children a love for books, is to make the children authors and illustrators themselves.

We do this in two ways.  The first way is one that I am sure many of your preschool classrooms are doing (and if you’re not, you need to be).  We have the children write their own stories.  Take out the dictation paper, have them draw a picture, and then the teacher sits down and writes the words with them, right?

One very important aspect of this is to make sure that the children know WHERE to draw their pictures.  Having introduced them to the books very carefully during circle time and free choice time and any other time we can find, the children are familiar with the makings of a book.  They know the front, the back, the spine, where to find the words, etc…

The second way we enforce for them that authors and illustrators are people; and to also instill a bit of teamwork, we have a very fun activity.  This is typically done on weeks that the book has an author who is different than the illustrator.

Then the children pair up with one being the author and the other the illustrator.  The first time we do this, they work very closely with the teacher.  They talk about what kind of story they would like to tell.  They map out their story together.

There are then two different ways to implement.  First, have the illustrator draw the pictures.  Once the child is finished, then sit down with the author and have that child tell you the story as you write it out for them.

The other way is in reverse: have the author sit with you and tell you their story, then sit with the illustrator and read them the words on each page and have them illustrate that story.

It’s a great way to enforce so many aspects of development and learning.  Also, don’t forget when it’s done to read it during circle time.  They will LOVE it and it will spark all sorts of other books and teams of authors and illustrators.

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