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Woodstock Students Learn About Authors

Nov 06, 2015 09:42AM ● Published by Julie Slama

By Julie Slama

Many elementary school children across the Salt Lake Valley study master artists and try their hand at their art style and techniques. Woodstock Elementary students not only Meet the Masters, but they Meet the Author as well.

Similar to the art program, parent volunteers spend time in the classroom each month teaching about a master, only in writing. The lesson may include the life of the author, a picture of the author, the style of writing and time period in which they lived and of the setting.

“The whole idea of the program is to get the students enthused about reading,” said Woodstock’s Meet the Author chairperson Jennifer Young. “The kids just get so excited and say, ‘Yes, we’re doing Meet the Author.’”

The authors for older grades may include international writer J.K. Rowling and national writer Dan Gutman, to local authors Shannon Hale and Brandon Mull. Younger grades enjoy learning about Eric Carle and Mo Williams.

“We may read a picture book to a younger class, or choose a chapter from a book for older grades to read to them. Then, we may play a game or do some activities to engage students,” Young said.

On Oct. 9, she read to the students from Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” and then they made glasses out of pipe cleaners to match the character of Harry. Another time, she encouraged students to create a spider and web with tempura paint and black construction paper to represent Charlotte in E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web.”

“We don’t have a set formula of what needs to happen, but we allow the creativity of parents to engage students, and some teachers work the lesson into their class,” she said.

The school librarians also support the program by displaying books by the authors studied each month, which are “quick to be checked out,” Young said.

The program is part of Woodstock’s Parent-Teacher Association’s programming, which bought the program about 15 years ago with money raised from its popular read-a-thon fundraiser.     

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