Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Author Study of Steve Jenkins

Before any more time passes and this author study escapes my mind, I wanted to let you know how much my 3rd and 4th graders liked studying Steve Jenkins.  I really wanted to encourage nonfiction reading and one of the best authors currently writing is Steve Jenkins.  Simply put, he is pure awesomeness for science related nonfiction.  I'm going to explain more about Jenkins and his writing style by letting you know what I learned along with my students (and subsequently charted):
  • Gets most of his ideas for his books from his own children asking questions.
  • Uses cut-paper collage as illustrations.
  • Topics mainly focus on science.
  • Worked on a book with his father.
  • Works with his wife on books.
  • Writes introductions to begin all of his books.
Jenkins books are at many different reading levels from grades K-5--several of his books contain two levels of writing.  

I wanted to find a unique way to present information about Jenkins, so I searched for a Prezi on Steve Jenkins and found this one:

My students aren't constantly exposed to the format of Prezis, so it catches their attention in that way.

I had my students select a Jenkins book and answer questions about the book.  The questions asked were about the main topic of the book, their favorite illustration and what it was, three amazing facts they learned, etc.  The focus for individual students was just on one book and then they presented their information to the class, so we could collect information on multiple books.  My students really pined for Bones, Actual Size, Move!, What Do You Do With a Tail Like This?, and Biggest, Strongest, Fastest.

Prezi courtesy of Lisa Klingesmith: photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli Author Study/

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