The Absent Author Activities

Instructor: Kristen Goode

Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.

'The Absent Author' is the first in a series of books by author Ron Roy with each book in the series containing a title written with alliteration. Use the activities below to make this book even more fun for young readers.

The Absent Author

In The Absent Author, Dink invites his favorite author to visit his school. On the day of the author's expected arrival, he seems to go missing. A full mystery develops from there and Dink must solve this mystery with the help of some friends. The activities below, intended for use with middle elementary students, have been developed to help students further connect with this fun story. Use these activities to make learning even more interesting.

Create Your Own Book Idea

Materials: writing paper and drawing paper, pencils, colored pencils for drawing

  • Talk about the title of the story and point out the use of alliteration.
  • Briefly discuss a summary of the story.
  • Give each student a piece of writing paper.
  • Instruct each student to come up with a title (using alliteration) that they would give their own mystery story and write that title at the top of their paper.
  • Next, have students brainstorm a story to go with their title. Encourage them to think up names of characters, decide on what type of mystery might be involved, and come up with a solution to the mystery. Have them write a 5-8 sentence summary of their story on their paper under the title.
  • Now, give students drawing paper.
  • Instruct students to design a book cover for their mystery story. Book covers should include:
    • Title and author
    • A picture that will get a reader's attention
    • A 1-2 sentence hook to get readers interested in reading that story
  • Finally, let each student share their story ideas and book covers with the class.

Story Map

Materials: drawing paper, colored pencils

  • Begin with a brief review of the story. What was the plot? How would you describe beginning, middle, and end? Who were the characters? What made the story interesting?
  • Next, put students into groups of 2-3.
  • Give each group drawing paper and colored pencils.
  • Instruct each group to fold their paper into thirds (demonstrate to make this step easier).
  • On the front of their paper, have students label the three sections:
    • Title and Author
    • Characters
    • Setting
  • On the back of their paper, have students label the three sections:
    • Introduction
    • Problem (Mystery)
    • Solution
  • Now, allow time for the groups to work on their story maps. Encourage use of both words and pictures to make the final product visually interesting.
  • When finished, let each group share their work with the class.

Invite An Author to Your School

Materials: writing paper or access to a computer for writing

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