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Author Studies

A powerful tool in connecting science and literacy is through the use of author studies where you focus on the bodies of work of highly recommended science authors. Reading and analyzing several books by one author affords opportunities to identify and analyze text features used by the author - students become familiar with elements of the authorís craft. Students learn to think critically about how the structure and technique in writing combine to communicate meaning. As a result, this fosters students' comprehension as they read and improves their own writing craft.

Well-Respected Science Authors

Studying well-respected science authors can provide excellent examples of non-fiction writing. Some authors include:

For more authors, visit the annotated list of authors and illustrators.

Author's Craft

Some of the explorations into the authorís craft include decisions on the presentation of content and the literary devices the author chooses to employ. For example:

A few ideas for the classroom


To support students as they begin to explore science authorsí writing, teach mini-lessons that focus on various aspects of non-fiction writing. Some possible topics include:

For more specific ideas on how to use trade books to teach writing mini-lessons on authorís craft, select one of the following.  For ideas and examples using Seymour Simon's books, click here.  For ideas and examples using Jean Craighead George's books, click here.

All materials featured on this site are the property of the Elementary Science Integration Projects (ESIP) and/or their respective authors, and may not be reproduced or distributed in any form, printed or electronic, without express written permission.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 9912078. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.