Friday, November 23, 2012

Class Acts: Dan Gutman, Jeramey Kraatz, and Jon Scieszka

Teacher-librarian Donna Kouri hosted three authors on the same day: Dan Gutman, Jeramey Kraatz, and Jon Scieszka. Wow, what lucky students! 

I asked Donna to complete my sentences about this special event. I wrote the words in red, and she wrote the words in black. Thanks, Donna! 

Visit the Class Acts site
The Class Acts tour was an incredible opportunity. HarperCollins generously sent Jeramey Kraatz, Dan Gutman, and Jon Scieszka to our school for what I described to my students as “an author throw down.” Our school represented Jeramey Kraatz and a visiting school represented Dan Gutman while Jon Scieszka served as emcee. The kids were fired up, excited, and amazed to be in the presence of these three amazing authors.

Dan Gutman, Jeramey Kraatz, and Jon Scieszka were inspiring. Students learned that both Dan Gutman and Jeramey Kraatz did not like to read when they were younger while Jon Scieszka discussed his Guys Read movement. I think many students could identify with what the authors were saying. Students were particularly excited to learn that comic books helped Jeramey Kraatz learn to read.

My students prepared for this special day by learning about each author. We watched book trailers and videos and I read excerpts from their books. Each school also learned a cheer for their author which we chanted as part of the competition.  4th grade students created their own superheroes and villains (in honor of The Cloak Society) and composed essays describing their powers. Kindergarten was learning about senses and made stinky cheese which older students turned into Stinky Cheese Men, and new titles were created for Dan Gutman’s My Weird School series. We also dressed like superheros and villians to show our allegiance towards Team Kraatz. 

Jeramey’s team was so thrilled to represent him. He may have been the new guy on the block but the excitement for The Cloak Society was (and still is) out of control.

If you ever host three authors at the same time, I recommend starting early in order to adequately prepare students about each author. 

My students will always remember... the excitement present during the assembly. They truly thought they were in the presence of superstars. (And they were!) Each author treated students with such kindness and showed an interest in the artwork they created to welcome them. I think the students will also remember Dan Gutman saying (and earning points for his team by doing so) that Harry Potter was his favorite series that he wrote.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about how genuine each author was. They seemed so happy to be with us and the students could feel their appreciation. We hope they know how much we appreciated them!

I am giving away two signed books: The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable and Guys Read:The Sport Pages.

Rules for the Giveaway

1. It will run from 11/23 to 11:59 p.m. on 11/25.

2. You must be at least 13.

3. Please pay it forward.

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