The Joy of Teaching – An Evan-Moor Blog

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John Steinbeck and Favorite Author Book Reports

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Picture of John Steinbeck on a USA 15 cents stamp

John Steinbeck stamp – circa 1979

This week is the birthday anniversary of one of my favorite authors and a local legend, John Steinbeck (born February 27, 1902). Our corporate office sits in “Steinbeck Country,” between the Salinas Valley and Monterey Bay, which John Steinbeck depicted so vividly in his novels and stories: “The Salinas Valley is in Northern California. It is a long narrow swale between two ranges of mountains, and the Salinas River winds and twists up the center until it falls at last into Monterey Bay.” (East of Eden, Chapter 1)

Learning about a Nobel Laureate such as John Steinbeck—or another favorite author—is one way to get students excited about literature, about another era, or about a different part of the world. This post includes downloadable book report forms for grades PreK–4 to help students get started.

Literature skill focus: learning about an author

To help guide students in reporting on a favorite author, use one of these simple book report forms, which include book lists and report templates:

Reporting on a favorite author can also include activities such as:

  • Writing interview questions or “staging” a mock interview of the author
  • Creating a bookmark with the author’s picture, fun facts, and book titles
  • Creating an oral presentation about the author’s life
  • Making a diorama or collage that depicts the author’s hometown

Cannery Row pictureSteinbeck lesson plans for middle school

To celebrate Steinbeck’s birthday anniversary, use these resources, which provide extensive lesson plans for middle school students for The Pearl and The Red Pony:

If John Steinbeck is one of your favorite authors, you may enjoy gathering information from one of these sites to share with your students:

Contributing Writer

Image of Theresa WoolerTheresa Wooler has more than 10 years’ experience in K–6 classrooms as a parent volunteer, has taught high school English, and is currently involved in education through Evan-Moor’s marketing communications team.

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  1. Pingback: Lesson Roundup: Activities for the End of the School Year and Summer Learning | The Joy of Teaching - An Evan-Moor Blog

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