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.
Looking for age-appropriate book recommendations, author interviews, and fun activity ideas? Check out our podcasts.
The first English printer, William Caxton, was born on this day in 1422.
|Grades||3 – 8|
|Calendar Activity Type||Historical Figure & Event|
Gutenburg invented the printing press, but William Caxton was the first person to use a printing press to print books in English. Caxton printed over 100 different titles, including every work in English literature available at the time.
Have your students consider how the printing press affects their world by completing a printing inventory. Ask students to spend a day writing down everything they use that has been printed, such as books, pamphlets, even cereal boxes. The next day, compare the lists and develop a "super" list of all the printed materials that you and your students interact with. Once the list is complete, invite students to discuss the impact that printing has on their lives and to project the changes that may occur as computers enable people to share information digitally rather than in print.
- Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord's Making Books With Children
This site features a Free Activities page where students can learn about bookmaking in different cultures and find instructions to help them make their own books. The site also provides pages for teachers and families.
- Historic Figures: William Caxton
The BBC offers a brief biography of Caxton and links to related resources.
- Treasures in Full: Caxton's Chaucer
One of Caxton's most famous publications is his editions of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. This site includes video images of the rare books as well as historical information about Caxton and printing.
- Gaining a New, Wider Audience: Publishing Student Work on the Internet
This article from IRA's Reading Online offers advice for publishing student works on the web.
Grades K – 2 | Lesson Plan | Unit
Students tell their life stories in this lesson about autobiographies based on family photographs.
Grades 3 – 5 | Lesson Plan | Unit
Students write authentic newspaper stories, including learning about various aspects of newspapers, such as writing an article, online articles, newspaper reading habits, and layout and design techniques.
Grades K – 1 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Students draw a series of pictures that tell a story, including character action, problem and solution. They ‘read’ their story to others, transcribe it into writing, and create an accordion book.
Grades 6 – 8 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
V is for vocabulary. A content area unit provides the theme for a specialized ABC book, as students select, research, define, and illustrate a word for each alphabet letter.