By Lori A. Miller



*Problem* *What To Do* *Steps To Take*

*What To Use* *Grading* *Ending*

*Teacher Notes*


The Problem:

Your help is needed! Have you ever read a book and wondered about the author who wrote it? Where did they get their ideas? How did they learn to write and illustrate books? Many teachers would like to tell their students about favorite authors. There are many books written by these authors in the library. However, there are not many books about the authors’ lives and writing styles. You can help by learning about a favorite author and sharing what you have learned with others.

What To Do:

It is your job to get to know a favorite author. You will complete a worksheet using information from the Web. You will also read many books by your author. Use what you learn to write a short story, or biography, of the author’s life. Then, publish your story and add illustrations. Soon, teachers will be able to read your biography to their classes and introduce many students to their favorite authors.


Steps To Take:

  1. You should know how to use the Web to complete a simple search. If you need to learn how to do this, click here:
  2. Look at the books and authors listed below.
  3. Choose your favorite author from this list.


    Chris Van Allsburg

    Dr. Seuss

    Eric Carle

    Steven Kellogg


  4. Print out a worksheet. You will answer the questions as you learn about your author.

  6. Visit the Web sites about your author. Fill in the worksheet as you learn about his life.


  8. Read three or more books by your author. Compare the characters, settings, plots and of these books.

  10. Read The Art Lesson by Tomie DePaola. This is a biograpy, or true story about the author’s life. You can get some ideas for your own story.

  12. Use the information you have collected to write a biography about your author. Be sure to use complete sentences, check your spelling, and make sure your story makes sense.

  14. Next, have your teacher check your story. Then, get publishing paper from your teacher.

  16. Publish your story in your best handwriting. Be sure to add colorful illustrations.


10.Read your story to your class! Finally, put it in the library so that others can learn about your author, too!


What To Use:

Non-Web Resources:

books by Chris Van Allsburg

books by Steven Kellogg

books by Eric Carle

books by Dr. Seuss

The Art Lesson by Tomie DePaola


Web Resources:

**Each page has pictures, information and other links for the author. Click on the name of your author to go to their page.

Chris Van Allsburg

Dr. Seuss

Eric Carle

Steven Kellogg



You will be graded on the worksheet and your finished story. Click on the prize to see the grading form.



Now that you have written a biography of your author, you should share this story with other people. In the future, when you are enjoying a good book, you may want to learn more about the person that wrote or illustrated the book. By learning about these people, you can understand how the book was created. Learning about professional authors helps us to become better writers.


Teacher Notes:

This WebQuest was created for primary students, but may be used in grades 1-5. It may be used with small cooperative groups, or as an enrichment activity for individual students. The total length of time spent completing the WebQuest may vary between two to four hours.

The students should be familiar with basic searching skills on the Web. The teacher may need to lead students through the Web and provide introductory lessons to help them be successful with this WebQuest.

Please see the following website for more searching tips:

Introducing A Biography :

The Art Lesson , by Tomie DePaola, is an excellent example of a biogaphical story. The teacher may read this to the class and develop a list of facts about the author’s life. Students should be encouraged to think about authors as real people with real lives. By discovering the personal aspects of authors, students gain a better understanding of how their lives are reflected in their writing.


Writing Process:

Students who complete this WebQuest should be familiar with the writing process. When writing the biography, the students will use details from their completed worksheet. Teachers should help students revise and edit these biographies. Then, the students will recopy and illustrate their stories on publishing paper. Teachers should help students bind their finished books. Lastly, have the students share their stories with peers and other classes.