The Absent Author Lesson Plan

Instructor: Bryan Cowing

Bryan is a freelance writer who specializes in literature. He has worked as an English instructor, editor and writer for the past 10 years.

In this lesson plan, we will introduce 'The Absent Author' and the first chapter of the story in an interesting way. We will also cover how to make that introduction a fun way to check comprehension.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Put the events from Chapter One of The Absent Author into the correct sequence
  • Correctly identify how characters from Chapter One of The Absent Author feel


  • This lesson plan can be used as an introduction to the book and isn't meant to be used once students are finished reading all the chapters.


1-1.5 hours

Curriculum Standards


Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.


Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.


  • Enough squares of red and green construction paper so that each student can have one red piece and one green piece.
  • 6 sets of cards, each with the following sentences printed on them
    • Dink asks Josh to come with him.
    • Josh asks Dink for his pet guinea pig.
    • Dink combs his hair and gets his shoes on.
    • Josh agrees to go with Dink to meet the famous author.
    • Josh puts Dink's books in his book bag.
    • Dink and Josh pick up Ruth Rose.
    • Dink reads the letter from Wallis Wallace.
    • Dink, Josh and Ruth get to the Book Nook.
    • Dink, Josh and Ruth see that Wallis Wallace has not arrived at the Book Nook.

Lesson Instructions

Capture Their Interest

  • Start this lesson by holding up your copy of The Absent Author just long enough for students to see the cover.
  • Tell your learners that you will be starting a new book today and it is called The Absent Author.
  • Hand out the copies of the front cover of the book.
  • Ask your students to spend five minutes looking at the cover illustration and make at least two predictions about what the book might be about.
  • Be sure to stress that there are no correct or incorrect answers since they are just guessing.
  • Offer encouragement and feedback with neutral phrases like 'Interesting idea', 'Nice observation' and 'I wonder if you're right about that.'
  • Tell your students that it's time to discover what the book is about.

Read it

  • Read the first chapter of The Absent Author.

A Short Discussion

  • Ask your students 'what happened in the story so far'?
  • Allow students to retell as much of the story as they can.
  • Encourage your learners to refer to specific parts of the story.

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