Author in You - Barbara Robinson Classroom Activities









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January 24 - 30 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Activities for Author In You
Featuring Barbara Robinson

File with same info as below:
Activities for Barbara Robinson.doc

Activity #1
Supporting AKS
(2LA_D2003-41) prewrite to generate ideas for writing from self-selected topics
(2LA_D2003-43) write stories with a setting, characters, and a beginning, middle, and end
(3LA_D2003-44) prewrite to generate ideas for writing from self-selected topics
(3LA_D2003-46) write paragraphs with topic sentences and details
((3LA_D2003-48) write ideas in story form with attention to sequence, main ideas, and supporting details
(3LA_D2003-50) incorporate story elements including setting, characters, and problem and solution (plot) in writing
(4LA_D2003-34) prewrite to generate ideas for writing from self-selected topics
(4LA_D2003-36) write ideas in story form with attention to sequence, main ideas, and supporting details
(5LA_D2003-38) prewrite to generate ideas for writing from self-selected topics
(5LA_D2003-40) write ideas in story form with attention to beginnings, sequence, main ideas, supporting details, and closing/clincher sentence

Ms. Robinson said that she got the idea for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by starting with a familiar idea—The Christmas Story. She then built her story on the reader’s familiarity. By adding an element—the Herdmans--that is unfamiliar with the story, the problem is established. It also allows amusing situations to be created.

1.Have the children list stories familiar to them.
2. From this list have the children pick one story and construct a story based on the same premise that
the author used.
3. Write the story.

Activity #2
Supporting AKS:
(3LA_D2003-49) write and publish in a variety of genres…
(4LA_D2003-37) revise writing to improve fluency, content (descriptive words, strong verbs), organization, and style to match purposes with audience
(5LA_D2003-42) revise writing to improve fluency, content (descriptive words, strong verbs), organization, and style to match purposes with audience

For The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Barbara wrote the story, the play, and the movie. Each form of writing was very different. When writing a story, it is shared individually with a reader. It can be very powerful because it has no limits. A play is not written for one reader, but a large audience. A play has its limits—floor, wall and ceiling. Writing a play based on a story can be very frustrating because many times there are parts of the book that cannot be used.

1. Have the children revise their story.
2. After they have improved their story, have them change the form of their story to a play.

Activity #3
Supporting AKS:
(2LA_D2003-42) revise writing to improve fluency, topic, word choice, style, sentence structure, and organization
(3LA_D2003-52) revise writing to improve content , organization , and personal expression
(4LA_D2003-37) revise writing to improve fluency, content (descriptive words, strong verbs), organization, and style to match purposes with audience
(5LA_D2003-42) revise writing to improve fluency, content (descriptive words, strong verbs), organization, and style to match purposes with audience

Barbara suggested that reading would improve writing. Reading introduces the writer to words and ideas, two of an author’s tools. Authors love “juicy” words.

1. Have the children reread and revise their story by changing words to make the story more interesting.

Activity #4
Supporting AKS
(2LA_D2003-40) use examples from literature to create individual and group stories
(3LA_D2003-43) use examples from literature to create individual and group stories
(4LA_D2003-33) use examples from literature to create individual and group stories
(5LA_D2003-37) create and publish individual and group stories based on examples from literature

Barbara has written two more books based on the Herdmans—The Best School Year Ever and The Best Halloween Ever. She feels that it is difficult to write other books based on the first one. How much should you tell from the first book to:
- build on the characters?
- make the second story understandable?

1. List and discuss other authors that have story sequels. Note similarities and differences that the author
used to connect the stories and keep them interesting.
2. Take the completed story and write a second story based on the characters and possibly some of the
activities.

Activity #5
Supporting AKS:
(2LA_D2003-48) use available technology to assist in writing
(3LA_D2003-55) use available technology to assist in writing
(4LA_D2003-42) use available technology to assist in writing
(5LA_D2003-46) use available technology to assist in writing

Barbara uses a typewriter to write her stories and get them ready for her publisher.

1. Have the students use the Student Writing Center or another desktop publishing program to publish the
final story.
2. Have the children use Microsoft Word to write and edit their story.

Websites

Author Information
http://usawrites4kids.drury.edu/authors/robinson/
http://www.harperchildrens.com/teacher/catalog/author_xml.asp?authorID=12649

About Her books
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
http://www.harpercollins.com/global_scripts/product_catalog/book_xml.asp?isbn=0060250437
http://books.bankhacker.com/The+Best+Christmas+Pageant+Ever/

The Best Halloween Ever
http://www.harpercollins.com/global_scripts/product_catalog/book_xml.asp?isbn=0060278625

The Best School Year Ever
http://www.harpercollins.com/global_scripts/product_catalog/book_xml.asp?isbn=0060230398

Activities for Her Books

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
http://www.mce.k12tn.net/reading37/best_christmas_pageant_ever.htm

http://www.eduplace.com/tview/tviews/b/bestchristmaspageantever.html

http://images.trafficmp.com/tmpad/content/rightmediaaol/1204/aolpop12_6.html

http://www.eduplace.com/tview/pages/b/The_Best_Christmas_Pageant_Ever_Barbara_Robinson.html

http://www.mce.k12tn.net/reading37/vocabulary_of_the_best_christmas.htm

http://www.successlink.org/great2/g675.html

The Best School Year Ever
http://www.lessonquest.com/reading/booktests/5.5_best_school_year.html

http://www.nancypolette.com/LitGuidesText/bestschoolyearever.htm

Other Resources

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Novel Units, by Anne Troy and Phyllis Green. Fly High with Novel Units, 1990.

Porta-Center Kit. Engine-Uity, Ltd. 1980.

“A Seasonal Children’s Favorite by Barbara Robinson, by Beth Gress. The Mailbox: Intermediate, December/January 1993-94, pp. 52-54.

Reading Beyond the Basal Plus, by Doris Roettger. The Perfection Form Company, 1989.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Edgell Communications, Inc., 1989.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Literature Unit. Teacher Created Units. Teacher’s Outlet, http://www.abcteacher.com/catalog/pages/tcm0437.shtml?.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Study Guide, by Andrew Clausen. Progeny Press, 1993.

The Best School Year Ever

“My Day on the Town: Exploring Point of View.”The Mailbox, Aug/Sept 2004, pp.28-32.