Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



What’s Happening This Week

What’s Happening This Week

There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.



Book Recommendations

Looking for age-appropriate book recommendations, author interviews, and fun activity ideas? Check out our podcasts.

Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers

Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers



Text Messages: Recommendations for Adolescent Readers

Text Messages: Recommendations for Adolescent Readers


HomeClassroom ResourcesCalendar Activities

April 20

Celebrate author Mary Hoffman's birthday today.

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)


Celebrate author Mary Hoffman's birthday today.

Grades 1 – 9
Calendar Activity Type Author & Text





Mary Hoffman, author of the Amazing Grace book series, was born in England in 1945. Hoffman has authored more than 80 children's books, including the Stravaganza series of fantasy novels for young adults, several story collections, as well as a number of nonfiction titles for children and adults. Stravaganza: City of Masks was on the New York Public Library's 2003 Stuff for the Teen Age list.




In keeping with the lead character's spirit in the Amazing Grace series, have students write original picture books based on their own aspirations and dreams. Lead a discussion with students wherein they envision themselves in the future.

  • Have students brainstorm ideas for their future accomplishments.

  • Ask students to write and illustrate a short story that describes the accomplishment, the steps and obstacles leading to the event, and the end results.

  • Have students use the Story Mapping tool to plan their stories.

  • Suggest that students use the interactive Flip Book tool to create their final pieces.

  • Ask students to read their finished stories to the class or to younger students in your school.



  • Mary Hoffman: Children's Writer

    The author's homepage features background information on Amazing Grace and Hoffman's other picture books, novels, and more.


  • Mary Hoffman

    Bloomsbury Publishing provides this brief biography of Hoffman, as well as a bibliography and links to related resources.


  • Amazing Grace

    This literature guide is featured on Nancy Polette's Children's Literature Site. Included are reading, vocabulary, and writing activities to accompany Hoffman's Amazing Grace.


  • Mary Hoffman's Stravaganza

    Learn about Hoffman's fantasy series at this website, which includes text excerpts, games, information about the characters and the country of Talia, and more.



back to top


Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Let's Talk About Stories: Shared Discussion With Amazing Grace

Make space for critical literacy and engage students in meaningful, thoughtful discussions. Using Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman, students dig deep into themes such as prejudice, courage, and self-confidence.


Grades   1 – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Minilesson

Composing Cinquain Poems: A Quick-Writing Activity

Students use themed graphic organizers to compose cinquain poems on topics common in the early elementary classroom.


Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Creating Class Rules: A Beginning to Creating Community

Students work together to create classroom rules by brainstorming why they are at school and what they need while they are there.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Using Picture Books to Teach Characterization in Writing Workshop

Students explore character development through experiences with picture books. They learn about the connections between reading and writing and apply the information they learn to revisions of their own writing.