How To Host An Author's Birthday Party

A few weeks ago, I decided to teach the students about famous authors: How they became an author, How they found their illustrators, What they studied in college, What gave them inspiration - so on and so forth - in hopes that one of our conversations would someday, ignite a passion to what they want to be when they grow up.

Step 1:
Decide which author you want to celebrate and study. I chose based on birthdays. This month, we are studyied Steven Kellogg (born on Oct. 26).

Step 2:
Create signage to promote what you are doing.

Step 3:
If possible, step a table filled with books from the author so that kids can get a better understanding of their work.

When I originally thought about presenting authors/illustrators to the students, I remembered how boring it was to sit in a classroom and hear biographies of people I'd never heard of... I had find a way to think of something that would strike the interest of Pre-3 through 2nd grade.

There are many ideas that could be done during an author celebration, here are just some of mine:

1) Have the students sit down (we sit on bean bags) and explain that "Today we are having a very special birthday party." And of course you know first thing to strike their minds will be a cake.

2) I then explained our author of the month program and how it was going to be set up.

3) Now comes the fun part, (while doing research, I can up with some pretty funny stories of Steven as a child) so I reenacted them for the students and they loved it! I believe this helped them understand that authors are ordinary people just like them.

4) Next, I read the students a story by Mr. Kellogg - depending on the age level, I chose a different title.


5) QR Introduction: Many of the students asked about the QR code on my presentation board, so I had the chance to explain it to them like this.... "The image is like a secret passage way- When you scan it with a device, it will take you to the other side. Something your eyes cannot do!" They were so excited to hear this and wanted to know where our code led. I explained to them that it led to an author visit with Mr. Kellogg that we will be going on next week during a "virtual field trip" using our iTouches.

6) Are you wondering when the actual birthday party came in? Oh yes of course, they didn't let me forget! Did I mention it was going to be virtual too? Using a birthday candle app, I was able to create a cake with 72 candles (they couldn't believe how old he was, sorry Mr. Kellogg). I absolutely loved this app because once you create the cake, you can have the students blow out the candles, and trust me those iPads were soaking wet when we were through.

So what did you think? Would you host an author's birthday party for your class? Have you ever done this before? I would love to learn your tips and tricks!