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AUTHOR STUDIES

Verna Aardema

John Burningham

Eric Hill

Simon James

Patricia Polacco

Faith Ringgold

Eric Hill has written and illustrated books which are favorites of young children because they invite exploration and interactions between text and reader. The flaps in his books are easy for children to manipulate and are integral to each story because they unfold the events that occur. Hill's most popular books are his Spot books, stories told  from the eyes of a puppy. Spot is growing up and venturing out into the world, much like young children. Hill's books take Spot, and our class on a learning adventure.
 
 I like to do this unit  during the first month of 1st grade, however it is also suitable for Kindergarten classes. To see any of the titles used in this unit, a link has been provided. Just click on the book cover for more information. Then use your browser's back button to return to this page. All items will remain in your shopping cart until you are ready to check out. Enjoy!

BEGINNING THE AUTHOR STUDY

*Display many of the books written and illustrated by Eric Hill.

*Show the class a photograph of Eric Hill and take them on a book walk through some of the books to develop their interest.

*Discuss point of view, as these books are written through the eyes of a puppy.

*Read aloud your choice of Spot books to the class.

This author study was developed to integrate other curriculum areas.

THE BOOKS

Spot's Busy Year

This book goes through each month of the year. It tells what Spot likes to do during each month.

Language Arts:
 
 
*Read aloud the book to the class.
 
 *Make a retelling chart that is color coated with all of the months of the year.
 
 *Cut  the sentences from the chart into strips and have the children resequence in a center, or as a shared activity. I did it in a pocket chart.
 
 *Web activities that would keep you busy during the months of the year. Create their own "Busy Book" using ideas from the web.
 
 Math:
 
 
*Give out a blank calendar for the month you are doing the study.
 
 *Let the children fill in the numbers for the month.
 
 *Introduce before and after using the calendar numbers.
 
 Music:
 
 
*Introduce and sing calendar songs such as -
 
 "There are twelve months in a year....."
 
 Science:
 
 
*Talk about what animals do to get ready for the winter.
 
 *Classify the months of the year into the appropriate season.
 
 *Discuss attributes of each season.
 
 Art:
 
 
*Make a collage of your favorite month or season. Use pictures, and/or words cut out of magazines.

Spot Goes to School

Spot has an eventful first day of school.

Language Arts:
 
 
*Read aloud the book.
 *Make a web of words they think of relating to their first day of school.
 
 *Children can write about their first day of school using ideas from the web.
 
 *Publish the writing in puppy shaped booklets which you can trace and cut out.

Spot Goes to a Party

A letter arrives just for Spot, and inside he finds an invitation to a costume party at Helen's house. He has lots of fun putting together his cowboy costume, but he's a little confused when he  can't find his good friends Tom and Steve at the party.

Language Arts:
 
 
*Read aloud the book.
 
 *Discuss a party that you have had with the class.
 
 *Create a web of things you need to have a party.
 
 *Have children create an invitation, inviting someone to our party.
 
 Art:
 
 
*Have students make costumes and masks to wear to the party. We used paper bags and decorated them with glitter, feathers, felt, and anything else we could find.
 
 Social Studies:
 
 
*Choose a holiday from the month you are doing the unit.
 
 *Discuss the holiday and make a web of the way it is celebrated.
 
 *Cook one of the foods related to the holiday and serve at the party.
 
 Science:
 
 
*Bring in the ingredients to make the food representing holiday chosen.
 
 *Make a list of the ingredients.
 
 *Make a chart listing how they think we will cook the food. (This can be pretty funny.)
 
 *Cook the food.
 
 *As the food is cooking, make a language experience chart showing step by step how you cooked it.
 
 *Compare/contrast to their predictions.
 
 *Eat the food at your party with your invited guests.

Spot's First Walk

Small children follow the curious little Spot on his first walk through the neighborhood all by himself.

Language Arts:
 
 
*Read aloud the book.
 
 *Copy the story onto sentence strips.
 
 *Have the children resequence the story in a pocket chart, or cut apart each strip and have them resequence each sentence in small groups. They then can glue the words down on a large piece of white drawing paper and illustrate their page, making a class illustration of the book.
 
 Math:
 
 
*Name and count all of the many animals and insects Spot met on his first walk.
 
 *Survey the children to find their favorite animal that Spot saw.
 
 *Graph the results.
 
 *Make a language experience chart summarizing the graph results.
 
 Science:
 
 
*Take the class on a nature walk around the block and collect various rocks, leaves, flowers, etc.
 
 *Classify and sort the objects collected.
 
 Social Studies:
 
 
*Make a map of Spot's walk. Teacher models by drawing on chart. Label the drawing. Finally, draw arrows to represent the route he took.
 
 *Have children work in small groups to make a map of their walk around the block.
 
 Art:
 
 
*Have each child make a paper plate puppet of their favorite animal from the story
.

Spot's Big Book of Colors,
Shapes, and Numbers

Join Spot and his friends as they have fun with colors, shapes and numbers. The simple text, bold illustrations, and oversized format make it easy and fun for young children to learn basic  concepts.

Language Arts:
 
 
*Read aloud the story.
 
 *Present the class with a riddle and have them use the clues to guess what it is.
 
 *Repeat this for a few objects.
 
 *Working in small groups children use shapes, colors and clue words, to create their own riddle describing an object.
 
 *Share the riddle with the class and see if they guess it.
 
 Math/Art:
 
 
*Create a shape collage using various shapes and colors.
 
 
 Concluding the Unit:
 
 
*Have a party and serve your food that the class cooked.
 
 *The children wear the costumes they made.
 
 *All work can be displayed around the room for guests and children to "read the room".
 
 *Poll the class to find out which book was their favorite.
 
 *Graph  the results and make a language experience chart interpreting the results.
 
 *Make a class big book about Spot. We did - Spot's Adventures in First Grade. Children worked together in small groups and I gave them the story pattern to work with.

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