Educational Tools from Children's Authors

Does your child have a favorite author who they just can't seem to get enough of? Many authors have their own websites that also provide educational and fun materials to go along with their books. Below are just a handful of what we were able to find.

Beverly Cleary – This Newbery award-winning author lived to be 104 and had been writing children's books since 1950. You will find many companion resources and a downloadable teacher's guide and activity packet for her beloved Ramona series character as part of D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read).

Shel Silverstein – Lessons and activities for The Giving Tree, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Every Thing On It, Runny Babbit and much more is available on this author's website.

Judy Blume – This author of kid-favorite books such as Superfudge, Are you There, God? It's Me, Margaret, Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, and Freckle Juice as well as many more has a portion of her website dedicated to kids with sections explaining how she got her ideas for her books, trivia about her books, information on how she became an author and tips that worked for her on how to be a writer.

Eric Carle – If your little ones enjoyed this author's beloved stories such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? then take a look at activities and newsletters he provides at his site.

Sharon Creech – This Newbery award-winning of Walk Two Moons, The Wanderer and others, has a great resource section called "Teach Creech" with downloadable teaching guides and more to correspond with her books.

Roald Dahl – Children from all over love this author's books such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, and Matilda to name a few. At this site, visitors can not only learn about the author but there are lesson plans, activities, crafts and more to make his stories all the more fun.

Neil Gaiman - Mouse Circus – Find games, downloadable activities and more for this Newbery award-winning author's books The Graveyard Book, Chu's Day, Fortunately, the Milk and more.

Kristine O'Connell George – Discover the wonderful world of poetry with this site from this acclaimed author of contemporary children's poetry. Her site is full of ideas and lesson plans for her books and well as suggestions for using her books to improve writing skills. She also has a page specifically for kids where they can learn about being a poet, her book inspirations, read or listen online to poems and more.

Dav Pilkey – At this page, download activity sheets to accompany the Captain Underpants books. Before you leave this site, be sure to learn about the author who, despite being diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD as a child and being told by his teachers that "he couldn’t spend the rest of his life making silly books", went on to be an award-winning and best-selling author. (The downloadable comic book of his story is great inspiration for kids.)

Avi – You will not only find teaching guides to use with this Newbery award-winning author's books, but there are also Reader's Theater scripts, writing tips for kids and author-read selections from his books.

C.S. Lewis - Chronicles of Narnia – While this is technically not an author website, it does deem worthy to share. Here you will find a Reading Group Guide and a Classroom Activity Guide to use with the beloved stories of Narnia.

Jean Craighead George – This nature-loving author wrote over 100 books in her lifetime, completing her last a few days before she passed away. The Newbery Honor Book, My Side of the Mountain, is one of the few books my middle son actually read without my prodding. At this site, learn about the author's life and works then check out the "On Writing" tab for a brief lesson on how to write a story.

Dan Gutman – At this site from the author of the Baseball Card Adventures and My Weird School series as well as others, visitors will find a PDF study guide to My Weird School that can be adapted for your classroom as well as quizzes for some of his other books.

Mo Willems – There is a lot to do at this three-time Caldecott Honor winner, author, illustrator, animator, and voice actor's website. There is an entire section devoted to chidren's learning activities as well as a "Grown-up's Page" with downloadable teacher's guides, event guides, and more. Please note that you will need Flash enabled to navigate the site.

Stan and Jan Berenstain – The Berenstain Bears are an absolute favorite with my children. We collected a boatload of these books when my oldest was growing up which I have passed down to him to read to his son. (Yes, I am a grandma, twice over right now, lol.) This is another website with a whole lot of great stuff for kids and parents including a coloring book, books to read online, movies, loads of interactive activities and much, much more. This is another website that needs Flash enabled to use.

R.L. Stine – Download the 16-page PDF writing program from the children's Goosebumps series author. If you scroll to bottom of the page and select "Rainy Night Theater" there are audios stories to listen to and then select the "About R.L. Stine" link to learn about the author.

Peggy Parish – Amelia Bedelia is such a fun character for young readers to get to know and at this author's website you will find all kinds of teaching guides and classroom activities to download. Plus, there are also online games including Amelia Bedelia's All Mixed Up word scramble and a Word Search.

Marc Brown – Find activities, lesson plans and more for the popular Arthur books. Please note that most of these resources take you to the PBS website for the T.V. series.

Chris Van Allsburg – Get downloadable discussion guides for children favorites like The Polar Express, Jumanji, The Garden of Abdul Gasazi and many of this author's other books at this website.