Author visits enable kids to connect with real writers, to hear first-hand how a writer works, and to inspire both kids and teachers. When a school or library invests in an author visit and makes the most of promoting that visit, children see that books are worth celebrating.
Here are some of the ways schools and/or libraries can support author visits.
- Encourage students to write their own books. After reading Please Write in This Book, which is about a fictional teacher who encourages kids to write in a collaborative journal, real-life teachers and librarians have encouraged collaborative journal-writing with their own blank books.
- Send home a note about the upcoming visit and invite parents to attend.
- Read the opening page of one of the author’s books over the intercom a week before the author arrives.
- Hold a story-writing, poetry, or persuasive letter-writing contest before the author arrives: the winner gets a signed book or lunch with the author.
- Ask student reporter to write a review of the author’s presentation or to conduct an interview with the author and post it on your school’s website and/or in your school newsletter.
- Contact your local media (newspapers, TV, radio) and tell them about this special event. The media needs positive stories about the exciting things that happen in schools.
- Post the news on your school’s curbside sign. This broadcasts the message that a noteworthy event is happening and helps get the word out to parents.
- Purchase a blank canvas and hang it in your library. Have visiting authors and illustrators autograph it.
- Ask the author to bring a signed photo or poster. Frame it and hang it in your library.
- Purchase a canvas “director’s” chair and have visiting authors and illustrator’s autograph it.
- Encourage students to write or videotape creative book reviews or book trailers for the visiting author’s book(s) and post them online.
- Perform Reader’s Theater versions of the visiting author’s work. See The Chicken of the Family Reader’s Theater Script.
- Coordinate with the art teacher to encourage kids to create life-sized portraits of the author’s characters.
- Make sure to have the authors books in the library and encourage children to read them before the author arrives.
- Ask author’s to sign hardcover copies of their books that are in the library and save and display the pen that was used to sign the book! Texas librarian Jessica Scheller puts pens in a special capsule and displays them!
- Serve snacks related to the theme of the author’s work.