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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Middle School Project Based Learning Activity: Author Study

I made exciting progress on my goals this week as I developed a PBL lesson plan.
I am collaborating with colleagues through a wiki we developed together to share and improve on PBL activities for our students. My author study lesson plan requires students to utilize online resources to learn about an author and to communicate with other students.
Students will then create their own wiki pages about their authors' biographies and texts. This is what I have so far:

Problem Based Learning Activity: Fantasy Author Study

Students will read at least two novels by an author they choose from our Fantasy Reading List.

Students will read biographical information about their author from at least two web sites on our Author Resource List.

Students will email their author, comment on their author’s blog, or participate in an online dialogue about their author and his or her work.

Students will create a wiki page describing their author’s life and works through text and visual images.

Students will invite other fans to submit a response to our class wiki, What We Read, as a way to collaborate with peers with diverse perspectives.

Fantasy Reading List

Unicorn Chronicles #1: Into the Land of the Unicorns by Bruce Coville

Unicorn Chronicles #2: Song of the Wanderer by Bruce Coville

Unicorn Chronicles #3: Dark Whispers by Bruce Coville

Unicorn Chronicles #4: The Last Hunt by Bruce Coville

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling

Author Resource List

Bruce Coville

"The Official Bruce Coville Homepage":

"Bruce Coville":

"Q & A with Bruce Coville":

Lois Lowry

Lois Lowry’s blog:

Lois Lowry’s biography:

Lois Lowry’s biography:

J. K. Rowling

“Official Site”:

“About the Author”:

Please visit our wiki at to check out my colleagues' PBL plans, too.


  1. Hi.

    Wow! You have done a considerable amount of work! YEAH you! Have you presented this to your students? Can you share any of the handouts you are giving your kids? It sounds like a great plan and I would like to suggest something similar to my teammates.


  2. Thank you! I have not shared this with students yet because I am still collecting author resources and adding them to my list. I have found so many good sites for students to learn about adolescent literature and about their favorite authors, and I have gotten a lot more comfortable using the wiki format for collaboration. I think this will be a great way to encourage collaboration and to incorporate multiple perspectives when learning about literature. I look forward to hearing about your experiences, as well.