Ezra Jack Keats: An Author for EVERY Child


Author studies are a fantastic way to introduce students to quality literature, and there are so many ways to work them into the teaching routine.  For me, using carefully selected books and authors as mentor texts for writing offers my students the opportunity to develop the reader's eye by analyzing text features, author's craft, and the Six Traits of writing.  I noticed a much more sophisticated attitude toward literature as the year progressed last year, and I think that's because we had very thoughtful discussions about how and why the authors I selected chose to describe scenes as they did.  

Ezra Jack Keats is a classic.  It's hard to believe that this is the 50th Anniversary of The Snowy Day. I remember it as a child.  I have used his books with my students for many years and enjoy sharing that connection with them.  I have sets of A Snowy Day (of course), Whistle for Willie,  and Peter's Chair, and each year, my students love them.  In preparing this post, I learned something I never knew before.  Ezra Jack Keats was an accomplished French artists prior to writing and illustrating children's books.  In fact, he ended up working with children's books almost by accident. 

The book I am highlighting is...

Image result for A Letter to Amy

Story Summary
Peter's birthday party is coming up, and he is so excited.  Yet, one day, he seems upset.  He shares with his mom that he wants to invite Amy even though most of the kids will be boys.  He decides to write her a letter in order to avoid asking in person.  He takes the letter to the mailbox, and low and behold, guess who is there?  Amy!  Peter panics because he doesn't want Amy to see the letter.  He wants it to be a surprise.  Unfortunately, the letter blows away and the reader is left wondering whether she ends up getting the letter or going to the party.  Children will enjoy this book.  It includes two of their favorite topics, friendship and parties!

Pat Cummings, another fantastic author for teachers to explore, had this to say about A Letter to Amy and about Ezra Jack Keats.  I think it is SO true!



Suggested Activities


  • Read along with and/listen to A Letter for Amy through Youtube [here]
  • Check out Scholastic's resources [here]
  • Practice letter writing.  Set up a class post office system where a student delivers the mail each day.  

In addition to these activities, I am glad to share this preview of a full guided reading unit.  


You can also purchase the full unit for $4.00.  Here's a preview of the unit. 
Includes a birthday cake craftivity, glyph, and writing project
 Have a fantastic summer!


28 comments

  1. I love Ezra Jack Keats and look forward to using all I learn here today with my students. Thanks so much.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I always do an Ezra Jack Keats author study in January! Can't wait to add this collection of activities to my lesson plans! What a great idea! I would love to participate if you have other "book hops!"

    Bravo!
    ~Jennifer

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love Keats, but my favorite to study is Patricia Polacco.

    Deb

    ReplyDelete
  4. Awesome blog hop!! I am starting to gear up for the new year and this would be a great addition. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops, and my favorite author study is Kevin Henkes =) We also had the opportunity to watch a play based on Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse at the local children's theater last year.

      Delete
    2. I used to read Kevin Henkes to my daughter when she was younger. Such fond memories.

      Delete
  5. I love his books! I know I will get some great ideas from this! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for a fantastic post. I may use this with my sixth graders.

    Melissa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even lower level picture books can be great models for writing. I love Goggles for bullying.

      Delete
  8. I like Roald Dahl and Patricia Polacco!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love his books and the ideas you shared!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Tough question......I have so many favorite authors, it depends on what grade I am teaching. For kindergarten I LOVE Mo Willms, then in no order,Kevin Henkes, Laura Neumeroff, Stewart Murphy, Mary Pope Osborne, Magic School Bus.....and so many more.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love Ezra Jack Keats so I am very excited about this bloghop!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love studying Tomie dePaola. mrsruffin924@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too...Strega Nona and Big Anthony...so amazing!

      Delete
  13. That's a tough one! I love to read and have many favorites....My top favs are Eric Carle, Jan Brett, Dr. Seuss (T. G.), and Ezra Jack Keats. jaglanzer@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you for your Giveaway. This is tough to answer as I have so many favorite authors. Jan Brett is right up there at the top as I love her illustrations.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Kevin Henkes' stories work just great for my preschoolers! ~Denise

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have many authors that I LOVE to study but Dr. Seuss is my favorite!! -Heather

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love Ezra Jack Keats that's why I'm so excited about this book study.

    ReplyDelete
  18. we returned we linked up AND ALSO my partner and i planned the romantic dinner in her, reserving a special seat The idea overviewed Chicago. That feel funny simply how opposite MY OWN world’s through which – months sooner she had graduated high school AND had lived an more ‘regular’ life. I, towards various other hand, had dropped out of college a long time previously AND ALSO had lived a great very unique AND ALSO lavish life – traveling, running large companies, exotic cars AS WELL AS expensive food. Ryan Eagle Scammer

    ReplyDelete
  19. its great venture about indoor administrations and online paper composing organizations training dependably help suitable service to do my homework for me fundamental understudies and essential individuals who require in genuine circumstance and we compose for them.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting my blog today. I love to hear from my readers, so if something from my post speaks to you, please let me know. Feel free to share what has worked well for you or anything else on your mind.

Back to Top