Author Interview is an activity used to deepen readers’ understanding of character, plot, the author’s message, or theme. By questioning the author’s choices in narrative development, students consider the author’s craft and the impact it has on theme. In this activity readers select the point of view of a character and develop questions from their perspective. They develop higher-level, open-ended questions about the author’s purpose for the development of specific character traits, or why the events or conflicts that impacted them were written. Students can then answer their own questions from the point of view of the author, using their understanding of the text to make inferences. Alternatively, students reading the same text can work in pairs taking turns pretending to be the author and responding to each other’s letters.
LEARNING CYCLE STAGE
This activity works well with short stories, picture books, or once students are a few chapters into or have finished a novel. • Before you begin decide the specific purpose of this author interview is—what you want readers to question. Creating a bank of sample questions or question stems is useful. • Decide if students will be assigned or choose characters whose point of view they will adopt for the question creation. Creating a graphic organizer for questions, a model author interview letter, and response would all be appropriate modeling tools or scaffolds.