Author-Inspired Student Work

In my last post I shared my favorite books from children’s author, Jerry Pallotta. So many of his titles are perfect for integrating ELA content with science and social studies.

In preparation for his visit to my children’s school, the teachers read his books with their students and created some amazing books and hall displays- all inspired by Mr. Pallotta.

Get ready for some eye candy! (Teacher flavored.)

I’ll start with the amazingly creative Mrs. Greenman! She did two projects with her students; A Kentucky Derby ABC project (which involved research, informational writing, and amazing pastel resists!!) and a book innovation of Jerry Pallotta’s “Who Will…” book series.

First, look at this Kentucky Derby project. I wish you could have seen it up on the wall.  The photos don’t do it justice. My 1st grade son loved doing the research and told me how he read about the Derby and recorded facts on index cards.

Kentucky Derby ABC pages


The second project was a class book about imaginary summer plans. They had fun with this one!

Class book inspired by Jerry Pallotta


Mrs. Claxton’s class did another amazing project. They read Jerry’s The Skull Alphabet Book. Then she brought in a box of animal skulls and bones and they observed/ examined them. They also looked at the artwork of Georgia O’Keefe (who often used skulls and bones in her images.) Next they took the skulls/bones outside and held them up to the blue sky to see the natural objects “like an artist sees.” Their final project was to create artistic images of the artifacts coupled with informational writing. Isn’t that inspiring?

Skull and Bone ABCs with OKeefe
And I loved this… Jerry walked around the school and signed all the displays and class books. How awesome is that?
Have the author sign displays

There was so much inspiration on display!

It was wonderful to see how Jerry’s informational writing style motivated student writing in projects such as Mrs. Adams’ Shark Alphabet book (below.)

Shark Alphabet Book


And this was a cute idea from Mrs. Leach and her students: to combine an alphabet book with poetry writing! (And you could combine it with research too- like the Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night book I love so much. See previous post featuring that title.)

Animal Haiku ABC Book


Finally, I’ll leave you with one more beautiful example (though there were dozens and dozens more on display!) My friend, Ms. Baker, had her children create a Charleston ABC book full of historical landmarks and local symbols. The images were huge and so well done. I think an ABC book featuring your town is a fantastic idea!

Charleston ABCs
*One more thing to go back and notice: all the different ways teachers bound and formatted the student work. I need to do a post on that one of these days. The take-away: you don’t have to spend hours typing and binding! For example, the shark book mainly uses student handwriting and binder clips. Simple yet effective!

Posts in this series:

Author Visits Inspire Young Writers

7 Ways to Make an Author Visit Fabulous

Featured Author: Jerry Pallotta

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