Thursday, August 7, 2014

Creating an Author's Chair Students Will Want to Sit On

Author's Chair is such an important part of Writing Workshop, and it is a part that I always find myself skipping for time purposes. Well, I am vowing to turn over a new leaf this year! And to help me stick to my guns, I created a new Author's Chair for my classroom.


It was so much fun to research and make... and I think it will be just as fun to use... for both me and my students.

First, I started with an old stool that my children had stained from their artistic endeavors. But any stool will do. This one is wooden, but I am sure with a different type of paint, you could probably even use a metal one. I also gathered my supplies. I used craft paint from Michael's because it was so much cheaper, and it didn't take much (there is still some left in the bottle), but you could also use paint from a home improvement store. I needed Mod Podge, some ribbon, paint pens, and a fine-grade sandpaper.



I lightly sanded the stool, wiped it down, and then started the coats of paint. I put on three coats to get it the color I wanted with no streaks.


Once all that was dry, I could Mod Podge the top. I created the Author's Chair sign on the computer, printed it out, and carefully cut it out. The words on the stool, I wrote in paint pen. Then I just followed the directions on the Mod Podge bottle for application. I ended up putting 10 coats of Mod Podge on the top and around the rim of the stool. 


All the words are quotes about writing from authors. I chose to do them in different colors and write them around the top, down the legs, and on the rungs. These are the quotes I used:


"Make the words yours. If your eyes could speak, what would they say?" ~The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

"Writing is seeing. It is paying attention." ~Kate DiCamillo

"Write it so that people can hear it, and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart." ~Maya Angelou

"I can shake off everything. As I write, my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn." ~Anne Frank

"Look in your heart and write." ~Unknown

"We all have a story to tell." ~Unknown

"Writing is the painting of the voice." ~Voltaire

"Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words." ~Mark Twain

"It doesn't really matter what you write, but you must keep up practice." ~Rick Riordan

"There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place." ~J.K. Rowling

"I like to think of myself as a storyteller." ~Kate DiCamillo

"READ! READ! READ! and WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!" ~Jack Prelutsky

"The storyteller in me asks: what if? And when I try to answer that, a story begins." ~Jane Yolen

And the final Author's Chair looks like this. I am pretty pleased with how it turned out.



Moving on to what the Author's Chair will be used for, I created a freebie with some Response Stems.  I find that students never know quite how to respond to what is shared from the Author's Chair, so I created these that will become an anchor chart in my classroom and be glued in their writer's notebooks as a guide to help scaffold their learning. You can find the link to my Author's Chair Response Stems here.


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