Falling in Love with Authors and Illustrators

Students explore the works of four award-winning authors and illustrators, Grace Lin, Yuyi Morales, Monica Brown and Jerry Pinkney, learning about their lives and inspirations.

Unit Summary

As part of the upgrade to Fishtank Plus, this unit was revised in October 2020. See which texts and materials have changed as part of the revision in this guide to our Kindergarten text adjustments.

In this unit, students explore and experience the works of four award-winning authors and illustrators; Grace Lin, Yuyi Morales, Monica Brown, and Jerry Pinkney.  Students learn about each author or illustrator’s life and his or her inspiration for becoming an author and/or illustrator. Students will think critically and make connections between the author or illustrator’s life and the stories he or she writes or illustrates, and how each author’s unique personality is reflected in the words or pictures. By studying a wide variety of authors and illustrators, it is our hope that the foundations will be set for a lifelong interest in reading and books. Author studies help students develop a deeper attachment to books while also noticing and identifying the many different ways in which authors write.  It is also our hope that students will use the authors in this unit as writing mentors, mimicking the author’s style while also building confidence in their own writing and unique ideas. In future units and grades, students will read additional award-winning stories written or illustrated by the different authors and illustrators from the unit.

Reading this unit builds on the first three units and assumes that students are inquisitive consumers of text, asking and answering questions while listening to and enjoying a story.  Students will continue to work on retelling a story, including key details about setting, characters and major events. Students will also continue to be challenged to “read” the illustrations and think about how the illustrations help a reader better understand what is happening in the story. At the end of this unit, students should also be able to clearly articulate and define the role of the author and illustrator and why they are both important.

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Texts and Materials

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Core Materials

Assessment

This assessment accompanies this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Unit Prep

Essential Questions

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  • Where do authors and illustrators get their ideas for writing?

Writing Focus Areas

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Sentence-Level Focus Areas

  • Ask questions using “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” and “how.”
  • Use correct end punctuation.
  • Capitalize the first letter of a sentence.
  • Create simple sentences orally and in writing.

In this unit, students continue to work on crafting statements and questions orally and in writing. Students also begin to practice using correct end punctuation when writing statements or questions.

Opinion Writing Focus Areas

  • State an opinion about a book. 
  • Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to include multiple details that support the opinion. 

In this unit, students continue to work on crafting opinions. After learning about each author or illustrator, students will write a letter to the author/illustrator explaining which book was their favorite. Students will be pushed to include multiple reasons in their writing and drawing. 

Vocabulary

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Text-based

attach challenge contender confident courageous contagious defeat fortune immigrant imagination jealous kite little lonely overcome patient proud prepare steady talent ugly

To see all the vocabulary for this course, view our Kindergarten Vocabulary Glossary.

Content Knowledge and Connections

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  • An author is a person who writes a story.
  • An illustrator is a person who illustrates, or draws the pictures, for a story.
  • A person can be both an author and an illustrator.
  • Authors use things they are passionate about in their own lives to influence what they write about.
  • Authors are often recognized for their outstanding writing or illustrations. Some awards that authors can receive:
    • The Pura Belpre Award is given to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience. 
    • The Coretta Scott King Book Award is given as a way to recognize outstanding books for young adults and children by African American authors and illustrators that reflect the African American experience.
    • The Caldecott Award is given to the illustrators of the most distinguished picture books.

Lesson Map

7

  • Niño Wrestles...

    RL.K.2

    RL.K.3

    RL.K.6

    RL.K.7

Describe Niño and what lesson he learns.

8

  • Just a Minute

    RL.K.2

    RL.K.3

    RL.K.6

    RL.K.7

Explain how Grandma Beetle tricks Señor Calavera.

9

  • Just a Minute

    RL.K.2

    RL.K.3

    RL.K.6

    RL.K.7

Explain Señor Calavera’s problem and how he solves it.

11

  • Tito Puente

    RI.K.2

    RI.K.3

    RI.K.6

    RI.K.7

    SL.K.1

Explain who Tito Puente is and why Tito Puente is famous.

12

  • My Name is Celia

    RI.K.2

    RI.K.3

    RI.K.6

    RI.K.7

    SL.K.1

Explain why Celia Cruz was famous.

13

  • Pelé...

    RI.K.2

    RI.K.6

    RI.K.7

    RL.K.3

    SL.K.1

Describe why Pelé is famous.

16

  • Lion and...

    RL.K.2

    RL.K.3

    RL.K.7

    SL.K.1

Retell what happens in The Lion and the Mouse.

18

  • Grasshopper and...

Retell what happens in The Grasshopper and the Ants.

20

Assessment

21

4 days

Writing

    L.K.1.b

    L.K.2.a

    L.K.2.b

    W.K.3

    W.K.5

Write a story about something you love.

Common Core Standards

Core Standards

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L.K.1

L.K.1.b

L.K.1.f

L.K.2

L.K.2.a

L.K.2.b

L.K.4

L.K.5

L.K.6

RI.K.2

RI.K.3

RI.K.6

RI.K.7

RL.K.2

RL.K.3

RL.K.5

RL.K.6

RL.K.7

SL.K.1

SL.K.2

SL.K.5

SL.K.6

W.K.1

W.K.3

W.K.5

W.K.7

W.K.8

Supporting Standards

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L.K.1.a

L.K.1.d

L.K.1.e

RI.K.1

RI.K.10

RL.K.1

RL.K.10