Uses of Author Interviews for English Language Arts Educators & Students
Enable your students to learn where professional writers get their ideas,
for example …
- Lois Lowry asks "what happens if?" when writing The Giver
- Francisco Jiménez finds inspiration from his family stories to write The Circuit
- James Howe calls upon his acting experiences to develop the characters for Bunnicula
Welcome authors into your classroom to share expertise and insights about the craft of writing,
for example …
What is an Author Interview?
- Author Interviews are interviews with authors and illustrators in video, audio, and written formats.
- Meet-the-Author Programs are filmed by TeachingBooks.net in the homes and studios of award-winning authors and illustrators to enable readers to connect with the author the moment they are studying a book.
Authors talk about:
- Working with ideas
- Doing research
- Bringing history to life
- Being a professional author
- Diverse art techniques
- Approaches to book design
- Illustrating fiction and nonfiction
- Being a professional illustrator
Share how you use Author Interviews as an English language arts educator.*
Here are some curricular uses submitted by educators…
- "I use Author Interviews as a hook to get kids involved in the subject and to let them have some background."
- "Before reading A Journal of the Plague Year in my twelfth-grade British literature class, we watched an Author Interview with Pam Muñoz Ryan where she talked about writing historical fiction. I was able to use her interview as a springboard into a discussion of historical fiction."
- "Author interviews give students insight into the craft of writing. My school interviewed an author through Skype after reading her book. The interview allowed students and teachers to explore plot, setting, and characters in the book."
- "I use the Author Interviews to get the students interested in the book we are previewing. The students can see what happened in the author's life that led him/her to write a particular book on a subject. It's great to have the students see who the author is and hear them speak."
- "I use the Author Interviews to help readers connect with the author and have a greater understanding of the plot."
- "I use the Francisco Jiménez interview to show the students how an author's cultural background and being bilingual can add meaning to the text. Many of our texts have been translated, and Mr. Jiménez speaks beautifully about how he writes in English but recalls his past in Spanish."
- "Using Author Interviews to introduce the author to the students at the beginning of a new unit helps to motivate and excite them to read the literature."
- "I use Author Interviews to inspire and motivate students to write."