Literature plays a key role in helping children’s voices take the floor. Literature triggers thoughts, unlocks memories, and helps create the kind of community in which it’s safe to tell our stories. – Shelley Harwayne

How to Read A Book

This book, from Newberry Medalist Kwame Alexander and Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet is a poetic and beautiful journey about the experience of reading.

Find a tree—a

black tupelo or

dawn redwood will do—and

plant yourself.

(It’s okay if you prefer a stoop, like Langston Hughes.)

With these words, an adventure begins. Kwame Alexander’s evocative poetry and Melissa Sweet’s lush artwork come together to take readers on a sensory journey between the pages of a book.


At PS 207, students in Pre-K-Grade 5 engage in Author Studies across the year. By fifth grade, our students have engaged in deep studies of seven different culturally relevant authors. Our Author Studies take place every Monday across the year. Aside from the exposure to wonderful authors, our author studies benefit our students in many ways including:

High Level thinking across texts: With author studies, students think deeply about the author’s craft including language choice such as figurative language and sentence fluency. choice of illustrations, common themes across multiple books, and connections to the author’s own experiences helps students connect with the author’s specific writing style. What better way to see how writing develops?

Consistent Studies of Models of Quality Writing: There is much research showing how mentor texts model writing traits. Do you ever use a template when you create a letter to parents or with a form you need? Few of us start from scratch with anything, so why would we expect our students to start from scratch. Naturally, their response is often, “I don’t know what to write.” Through our Author Studies, students study the format and style of the authors and many times, mimic these styles in their own writing.

Building a Culture of Literacy: Each grade level reads the same books, therefore, the experience is similar to that of a book club. Students across classes on a grade level share the parts they love, complain about the parts they don't love, and everything in between. Our author studies give them a common topic to discuss at recess and around the cafeteria tables.

Cultural Relevance: An important piece of our author studies is that the authors have been carefully chosen to expose our students to authors and topics which are relevant and connected to the lives of our students. Our authors typically write about experiences within their culture, and experiences common to people within their culture, empowering our students intellectually, socially, emotionally, and politically by using cultural relevance and are designed to acknowledge cultural heritages, incorporates multicultural information, resources, and materials.teach student to know and to teach our students to praise their own and each other's cultural heritages.

Build Research Skills: Researching an author’s life which is a standard for al, and learning how to research is another skill taught through our author studies.

Visual Arts: At PS 207, our second and third floor hallways are dedicated to showcasing our authjor study work throughout the year. Students enegae in visual arts activities and respond to their books in a variety of ways throughout the year. TO share the beauty of this quality work, grade levels will be posting hallway "museum walk videos" throughout the year. Stay tuned....

Author studies get students connected with books and help them become life-long readers. When a book lover reads a good book he or she is anxious to find more books by the same author. We want our students to have that same excitement about reading. When students learn about authors they discover new books, try new genres and seek out additional books to read. It also benefits students as they learn more about the writing process from published authors. They learn tips that they can use in their writing and often become motivated to work on their own writing. To all parents who are reading this, we would love for you to enjoy our author studies alongside our students. Teachers will be reaching out to invite you to join our Author Studies via a Google Meet so that you can enjoy this experience alongside your children!