September 13, 2012

Star Author - Roald Dahl

One of my favorite things to do in my classroom is Star Author. Our study of an author will often last a week. Other times our study will last a couple of weeks. It all depends on who we are studying, the amount of time we have, and the number of books and resources I am able to round up. How busy we are or how much I like an author also tends to have a small impact. :)

Star Author

I pick Star Authors by thinking of the following questions:
  • What are we reading this week?
    • When I used the reading series Treasures I often tried to match our star author to the author of that weeks story.
    • What book are we currently reading aloud as a class?
  • What is on the calendar?
    • Whose birthday is this month?
    • What holidays are we celebrating?
  • What theme are we covering?
    • Some books and people naturally tie in together.
We learn about the author in different ways:
  • Autobiographies
  • Youtube videos
  • Author's websites
  • Brain Pop Jr. Videos - If your school does not have access to these, I highly recommend them
  • Comparing and contrasting the author's books
  • Wikepedia
I love to help my students find new favorite authors, make connections, and sneak in some history, math, writing, and science. I'm so devious. :) 

The reason I bring all this up? Books are my passion! Just ask my husband who recently helped me unpack all my book boxes. (Poor guy. Not only does he have to deal with a hormonal pregnant wife he has to deal with all her books too.) I love reading new books and I love sharing them with other people. Children love to learn about things they find interesting. If I want them to love books as much as I do I need to show them books can be fun, interesting, and worth their time. [Has anyone else read the article What the Kardashians Taught Me About Reading Instruction (No, For Real) ? I really liked it and think it is worth 4 minutes of your time.]

Roald Dahl is one of my all time favorite authors. I went through a stage when I read anything of his I could get my hands on. (I went through a lot of stages and you will probably hear about most of them.) He was funny, different, and I consumed his stories. A boy who created a Marvelous Medicine? A girl who loved books and had amazing powers? A fox who wrecked havoc among the local farmers? Yes. Give it to me. I want to read it.

It was only recently that I learned more about the man himself, which I think is a shame. I wish someone had recognized my enthusiasm and helped me learn more about him as a person. His birthday is today, September 13th. If he were still alive he would be 96 years old. Isn't that amazing?


This last week I have been reading D Is for Dahl: A gloriumptious A-Z guide to the world of Roald Dahl a book compiled by Wendy Cooling. I love this book because it is full of random facts about the man himself. It covers each letter of the alphabet with entries from Aardvark to Zoo. Each snippet covers a small part of his life and there are random facts sprinkled throughout.

In an effort to help more people discover this book I made a Roald Dahl Star Author Packet. It contains an alphabet chart to fill in facts, two venn diagrams, a page of helpful links, and the following wordle. Feel free to download it and tell me what you think. I am thinking of adding more to it later and placing a small price on it. So make sure you grab your free copy today.

I love Matilda! I even love the movie almost as much as I love the book. Which is saying something, because most movies come no where near the books when it comes to quality.

What is your favorite Dahl Story?


  1. Love Dahl!! There are so many that are great for read alouds! I like James and the Giant Peach!
    First Grade Blue SKies

  2. I love Ronald Dahl books too and so do my students. Have you read the BFG to your students? Check out our class doing a BFG riddle hunt. I met a teacher on Twitter who made the hunt and my kids loved it. You can download it for free here Thanks for the Ronald Dahl Packet. I will have to check it out.