A Focus on Author Writing

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An author study at Frank P. Long Intermediate School culminated with a walk-through author museum.
For the past month, fifth grade students in Mary Pettit and Alyce Smith’s class have been utilizing authors as mentors to improve their own writing during a new and exciting Reading and Writing Workshop unit of study through Columbia University’s Teachers College. Divided into groups, each class member read a book by the same author and then collaborated about the author’s writing style, recurring motifs and crafts to develop theme. These elements were placed on colorful posters highlighting the authors’ works. 
The students also learned how to use some of the authors’ crafts observed in the mentor texts to write Fan Fiction sequels, adding characters, rewriting scenes and creating alternate plot twists. 
“This is the way that students can really learn about the author’s craft of writing,” Ms. Pettit explained. “This project also makes them more excited about reading and writing their own stories.”
At the end of the unit, peers had the opportunity to attend a walk-through museum where they reviewed each team’s project highlighting the authors’ works and style including Andrew Clements, Jerry Spinelli, Gordon Korman, Katherine Applegate, Jacqueline Woodson and Raina Telgemeier.