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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 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:

  • Writing
  • Journaling
  • Working with ideas
  • Doing research
  • Bringing history to life
  • Being a professional author

Illustrators reveal:

  • 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.*

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*By submitting your ideas you agree to allow to publish your suggestions so other educators may learn from you about using multimedia book and author resources.

Here are some curricular uses submitted by educators…

  • "I use Author Interviews to give the students a way to feel connected to the author and drive their desire to read more books by the author."
    - Kristin from Nebraska
  • "I use Author Interviews during author studies — when I have an author with several books that we've read. I love how my kindergarteners connect more with the stories once they have seen the author and heard their voice."
    - Alesia from Nebraska

  • "I use Author Interviews with students before they write opinion-based letters to authors."
    - Meredith from Georgia

  • "I use Author Interviews to help students think about books through different lenses. Also, authorial intention can be tricky to discuss, but with the interviews we don't have to speculate!"
    - Angie from Wisconsin

  • "I use the Author Interviews in my pre-reading introduction of a book."
    - Beverly from Missouri
  • "I use Author Interviews to motivate students to write, using some of the same strategies that the authors describe."
    - Holly from Texas
  • "I use Author Interviews to motivate students to write, using some of the same strategies that the authors describe."
    - Sarah from Oklahoma
  • "I use Author Interviews as a hook to get kids involved in the subject and to let them have some background."
    - Michelle from Nebraska
  • "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."
    - Chandra from Alabama
  • "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."
    - Elizabeth from Texas
  • "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."
    - Sandra from New York
  • "I use the Author Interviews to help readers connect with the author and have a greater understanding of the plot."
    - Erica from New York
  • "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."
    - Lyn from New York
  • "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."
    - Lori from New York
  • "I use Author Interviews to inspire and motivate students to write."
    - Diana from New York
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