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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.



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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

July 11

Children's author Patricia Polacco was born in 1944.

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Children's author Patricia Polacco was born in 1944.

Grades 3 – 8
Calendar Activity Type Author & Text





Author Patricia Polacco was born in Lansing, Michigan. Her writing is inspired by her rich Russian, Ukrainian, and Irish cultural heritage. As a child, Polacco struggled to learn to read and learned that she was dyslexic at the age of 14. In her stories, she shares with readers her childhood, her struggles and triumphs in school, and her diverse cultural background.




Have your students share family stories of their own by writing original poems and reviewing parts of speech using the Diamante Poems tool.

  • Begin by having students brainstorm important or special childhood memories or people. Examples might be a grandparent or other relative, a memorable trip, or a hardship they have overcome.
  • You can also have students explore their memories with the Exploring and Sharing Family Stories lesson.
  • Then have each student select the topic they will write about and access the Diamante Poems tool.
  • Using the tool, students choose adjectives, nouns, and -ing words describing the topic they've selected to create a diamond-shaped poem.



  • Meet the Author/Illustrator: Patricia Polacco

    Houghton Mifflin provides this page with information on Patricia Polacco. Included is background information, a list of her books, and a link to her website.

  • A Video Interview with Patricia Polacco

    In this Reading Rockets resource, students can watch a video interview with Patricia Polacco online or read a transcript of the interview. They can also access a short biography of Polacco and a list of selected children's books she has written.

  • Patricia Polacco.com

    Patricia Polacco's site offers information about Polacco and her books for both teachers and students, including activity ideas for teachers, coloring pages and puzzles, and biographical information.

  • Patricia Polacco Author Study

    Start your author study by reading a short biography of Patricia Polacco and choosing some of her books to read . Then use the activities and lessons included to have fun with her culturally diverse characters and stunning illustrations.


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Activities & Projects

Grades   K – 3  |  Activity & Project

Stories of Appreciation

Using either a print or online template such as Tikatok, children can honor special people in their lives by creating personalized books.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Activity & Project

Creating Family Timelines

Children can interview family members and make an illustrated timeline of the most important family events and memories.


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Podcast Episodes

Grades   K – 5  |  Podcast Episode

Finding Family

The holiday season is here, which usually means spending time with family. Listen in as Emily discusses some heartwarming books about families.


Grades   K – 5  |  Podcast Episode

Celebrating Grandmothers

Explore books that celebrate relationships with grandmothers and learn how even across different cultures a grandmother's love is the same.


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