Jan Brett, Dr. Seuss, Andrea Beaty, Leo Lionni, Eric Carle, Karma Wilson, Todd Parr, Mo Willems…what do all of these authors have in common? They have all been featured author study subjects at The International Preschools as part of its play-based learning curriculum.
Each year, students at The International Preschools embark on an author study during the months of February and March. The curriculum is approached in different ways, based upon the children’s age level. In the Red Rooms (2s) and Green Rooms (3s), one author is chosen, and a variety of his/her books are read. In the Pre-K (4s) and Junior K (4s/5s), a chapter book is selected by the teachers, and a chapter is read every day in class by parent volunteers.
All of the classes, regardless of age, study the book/author at hand via thematic and play-based learning. For example, the dramatic play area in a classroom studying Karma Wilson might be transformed into Bear’s cave (the home of the main character in eight of her books). A class that is reading the chapter book Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White might study spiders in-depth. Last year, a Green Room at the 76th Strete location studied New York City-based author Mo Willems and visited an exhibit based upon his work at the New York Historical Society.
To conclude the author study, each student will participate in a whole-group project, which is then auctioned off at the IPS Spring Benefit. Additionally, the Green (3s), Pre-K (4s), and Junior K (4s/5s) classes engage in an exciting take-home journal activity. Each child has the opportunity to bring home a stuffed animal “character” from his/her class author study (i.e. the cat from Jenny and the Cat Club) to spend the day with. To document the day, parents and children work together to take photos, draw pictures, and write down what the stuffed animal “did” at the child’s house. The next day, the pages are read aloud to the entire class. This popular project has been a great success at our school, so much so that the journals have been added to the Spring Benefit auction as well!
In the coming weeks, we will focus specifically on the author studies in each classroom. Come back next week for a look at the Red Room (2s) and Green Room (3s) author studies!
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