Jan Brett Internet Author Study

Piggybacks for Teachers

Internet Author Study

by Mary Costales, Makawao School, Pa'ia, Hi

Elementary-A Collaborative Lesson Between Librarian and Teacher

Theme/Project: Getting Personal with Jan Brett

Unit: Author Study of Jan Brett and Her Books

Grade Level: 2-3

     This lesson will be introduced after at least two sessions have been spent in the library sharing books by Jan Brett and discussing her artwork, writing style, etc.  In this lesson, during library time, students will learn about the author's life and listen to her speak about her books via the internet. Working together, each class will come up with one question or comment to send to Jan Brett via e-mail.   A book review of one of Jan Brett's books will be submitted at the Book Nook site, a site where students can write reviews of books and read reviews of books by students from around the world.
      We can each contribute meaningfully to the group.
Purpose/Learner Outcomes:
     1) Students will discover that they can have personal contact with a famous author via email.
     2) Students will learn that each of us is an author and that what we contribute as writers is meaningful to others.
     3) Students will be able to work collaboratively to come up with a class comment or question and book review.
Performance Standards:
     1)Respond to literature in a variety of ways (writing to an author).
     2) Write personal responses to literature he/she has been read aloud (book reviews).
Guiding Questions:
     1) What are some ways that authors might get ideas for the themes, characters, settings, in their books?
     2)How do you come up with ideas for writing a story?
     3) If Jan Brett cam to visit us, what would you ask her?
Special Characteristics:
A cooperative group activity which involves e-mail and book reviewing.
Technology description:
     Each class will e-mail one question or comment to Jan Brett and continue to correspond when she writes back. Each class will post a book review about one of Jan Brett's books in Book Nook on the Internet.
Rationale for using technology:
     What better way to help students feel they have a personal relationship with Jan Brett as well as to help them realize that their opinions are meaningful. Plus, it's free!!
Other materials needed:
     Books by Jan Brett, Computer to TV converter, Internet accessible computer station.
Teacher suggestions:
     The librarian and teacher should have an opportunity to meet prior to this lesson to insure an understanding of roles as well as outcomes and follow-up.

Into: (Preparation) Students will already have been introduced to a number of books by Jan Brett.
In the library:
1) Introduce the class to Jan Brett's homepage.
2) Link to " About Jan Brett's Books"
3) Listen to Jan Brett speak about her books.
4) Briefly share some of the other links at the site including "Activities"

Through: (Learning Activities)
In the library:
1) Using the guiding questions, collaboratively come up with a list of questions or comments the class wishes to email to Ms. Brett. Narrow down to one question or comment.
2)One student types in and submits the e-mail while others observe.

In the classroom:
1) Book Nook is introduced by the teacher on the Internet.
2) Example of a book review and the template are reviewed.
3) Students collaboratively come up with a book review for one of Jan Brett's books.
4) Book review is submitted.
5) Posting of book review is critiqued and reviews of other books read to help students become interested in specific titles.

Beyond: (Extension Activities)
1) Further explore Jan Brett's website for more activities which can be done in class.
2) Book reviews of interest to students from the Book Nook may be shared on the morning broadcast.
3) Book reviews by our students may be posted on our school website.
4) Students may explore other author websites of interest.
1) Teacher/Librarian observation- Question: Were students able to work collaboratively to reach learner outcomes? Question: Can students list the proper steps required to communicate with an author using e-mail?
2) Reflective writing by students- Students will share their feelings about corresponding with a famous author and about having the opportunity to share their critique of a book on the internet.
Based on discussion between the Teacher/Librarian- Did the author communicate back to the students?
Is this a worthwhile project to pursue in the future?
What are some possible changes to be made to improve learner outcomes?
Jan Brett's Home Page: http://www.janbrett.com/index.html
Book Nook: http://i-site.on.ca/booknook.html

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