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Holy Frijoles, it's all about Judy Schachner!

-An author study by Jenna CarneyIntroduction It was very easy to choose an author that I wanted to look further into. I most famously know Judy Schachner for her book, Skippyjon Jones. I had first heard about this book in my literacy class. It was recommended as a great read aloud book. I was instantly hooked by the giant cat/Chihuahua on the cover. I would use this author study with grades second through fifth, as I feel they will get the most out of it. This author study will take place every morning for one week. I am hoping to spend 1-2 hours each morning.

Guiding Questions Some guiding questions I want to research are: o How many books has Judy Schachner written and what has influenced the character Skippyjon Jones? o Why did Judy Schachner start writing? About the Author Judy Schachner had a rough childhood. She was very shy, and found her best escape in her writing where she could create the perfect world. She lost her mother at a very young age due to cancer and later her stepmother. Judy gives whatever and whenever she can. Her first real job was creating greeting cards for all occasions. She ended up hating painting and drawing after those five years. After meeting her husband and having two daughters, Judy started to love

reading and painting again. She became inspired to write and illustrate her own books. Her most popular book, Skippyjon Jones, was inspired by her Siamese cat named Skippy, who unfortunately recently passed away. Her favorite book is To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee. Her favorite food is Angel food cake. When she is illustrating, she likes to use all mediums except for oils. She explains her job as being a professional eight year old for the rest of her life. For more information, visit

Introductory Lesson Plan In order to tap into the student's prior knowledge, I will start this unit plan with a read-aloud. I am reading the book first to the whole class so they can really get into the book and listen to the expression the book should be read with. After reading the book, the students will complete a paper with the following questions: · · · · What is your favorite picture from the book? What do you think the author is like? What was your favorite part of the book? How does this book make you feel?

The students will then be told that over the week, they will be reading more books from this series, and get to learn about the author. They should be thinking about the inspirations this author had to write these books and personal traits about her.

The following is a list of written work by Judy Schachner, along with any awards these books may have received. It should be noted that Judy Schachner is also the illustrator for all ten of her books. Mr. Emerson's Cook 1998- Annie answers an ad requesting an extraordinary cook needed to get Mr. Emerson to eat real food to supplement the nourishment he derives from nature through his imagination. SkippyJon Jones in the Doghouse 2008- Skippyjon drives out Bobble-ito from his friend's doghouse. SkippyJon Jones in Mummy Trouble 2006- SkippyJon goes into his closet and finds himself in Egypt where he and his friends visit the underworld. SkippyJon Jones: Up and Down 2007- a book of crazy opposites featuring SkippyJon. SkippyJon Jones: Color Crazy 2007- a book of colors in the world of SkippyJon. SkippyJon Jones 2005- SkippyJon is El Skippito who battles banditos with his friends. E.B. White Read Aloud Book Award SkippyJon Jones and the Big Bones 2007- Skippyjon is in the world of dinosaurs and saves his friends. SkippyJon Jones and the Treasure Hunt 2008- Skippyjon found a treasure map and you find the treasure with him. I Knew an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie 2002- the old lady eats so much at Thanksgiving that she blows up into a balloon in the Thanksgiving Day parade! Yo, Vikings! 2002- Emma researches Vikings and learns more and more about them until a Viking ship shows up in her backyard!

Lesson Plan 1 Objectives: o The student will create a character to be in one of Skippyjon Jones' adventures. o The students will design their character using at least two mediums of art. o The student will determine what their character will be doing in the book. Sunshine State Standards: · LA.A.1.1.1.The student uses the reading process effectively... predicts what a passage is about based on its title and illustrations. Presentation: 1. The teacher will start by holding up Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones. 2. The teacher will instruct the students to create a Chihuahua friend for Skippy and determine what they thing Skippy and his new friend will be doing in the book. 3. The teacher will explain that Judy Schachner uses lots of mediums for illustrating, and that they will be required to use at least two. 4. The students will share their drawings with the class.

Lesson Plan 2 Objectives: · The student will research Judy Schachner and examine multiple interviews. · The student will write a letter to the author.

Sunshine State Standards: · LA.B.1.1.2. The student uses writing processes effectively... drafts and revises a letter that expresses ideas clearly, have a beginning, middle, and end, and are in legible print. Presentation: 1. The teacher will start by discussing with the class the biography of Judy Schachner. 2. The class will discuss what they think she is like and questions they might like to ask her. 3. Then the teacher will explain to the students that they need to create a draft of a letter to Judy Schachner, explaining their feelings about her, her books, and asking questions. 4. The students will use the Internet to find interviews with Judy Schachner and to learn more about her. This should help spark more questions. 5. The students will add any additional questions to their letter. 6. After the draft the students will exchange them with a partner and check to see the partner has used a beginning, middle, and end in their letter. 7. The students will fix changes and create a final draft.

Lesson Plan 3 Objectives: · The students will create a mini story featuring their character and Skippyjon Jones. · The students will illustrate and write this story just like Judy Schachner does. · Students will determine something that will be used as their inspiration for their story. Sunshine State Standards: · LA.E.1.1.2. The student understands the common features of a variety of literary forms... identifies the story elements of setting, plot, character, problem, and solution/resolution. Presentation: 1. The teacher will ask the students to take out their drawing from Lesson Plan 1. 2. The students will use the picture as inspiration to create a mini-story with Skippyjon Jones and their character. 3. The students will need to create one more character, a problem, a setting, and a solution. 4. The students will illustrate the book the next day.

Culminating Activity The students will become the author and explain their book to the class. They will read the book, describe what they have drawn, and talk about why they wrote about what they did. The class will question the `author' and give positive feedback about their book. The books will be hung around the classroom. Evaluation Many things will be evaluated from this project. The students will: · Create their own character (Must be original and use two mediums of art.) · Write a letter to the author (Must include 2 questions sparked from an interview. Must also include a beginning, middle, and end.) · Illustrate and write their own mini story (Must determine a personal inspiration for their story.) Works Cited: BWI. Judy Schachner. Retrieved May 27, 2008, from Schachner, J. (2007, Jul, 13). "An Interview with Judy Schachner." Tandem Library Books. Schachner, J. (2007, Sep, 29). "Judy Schachner: Book Fest 07." National Book Festival. Washington DC. Schachner, J. (2007, Oct, 19). "Meet Illustrator Judy Schachner!." Robert's Snow. In By Kate Messner. Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Schachner, J. Biography. Judith Byron Schachner. Retrieved May 28, 2008, from Schachner, J. (2005). Skippyjon Jones. New York: Puffin Books.

Reflection Working on this author study unit plan has helped me become a better future teacher. I enjoyed doing this project because I felt it was something I could actually use in the future. I am finding that with the majority of my classes this semester, I am starting to create masterpieces that I will use for years to come. Obviously once I start working I will need to make adjustments and accommodations, but I am well prepared to take those steps. This project has helped me address the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices Competencies, all at the preprofessional level. The first competency this lesson has helped me reach is Assessment. One indicator of this is that I have identified students' cognitive, social, linguistics, cultural, emotional, and physical needs in order to design instruction. This unit plan was designed with the students in mind. I wanted them to create their own masterpieces to be proud of. Another way I have met this competency is guiding students in developing and maintaining individual portfolios. I still have a book I wrote in the fifth grade, and it is the only book I have ever written. I want the students to have works like this that they can cherish and also track their development by. The next competency I have reached is Communication. An indicator of this is that I encourage students in a positive and supportive manner. While the students are presenting their work I, along with the class, will be providing positive feedback. This also falls under the indicator of providing students

opportunities to receive constructive feedback on individual work. When the students trade their letter with their partner they will also receive this feedback. The last competency this assignment has helped me meet is Diversity. Although this was not emphasized in the unit, the Skippyjon Jones books are very diverse and also incorporate Spanish words and phrases. This shows that I have recognized the cultural, linguistic, and experiential diversity of students. I have also selected appropriate culturally and linguistically sensitive materials for use in the learning process by choosing these books. This assignment was designed to help all students succeed and accomplish many things. I feel they will enjoy these books and this author. They will develop skills needed to understand people, such as Judy Schachner and their inspirations. Hopefully they will become inspired as well to create more books to enrich our world.


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