Author & Text

Celebrate Cynthia Rylant's birthday!

June 06
Calendar Activity Type
Author & Text

Event Description

Cynthia Rylant has authored dozens of books for children of all ages. Writing in multiple genres, she has earned the Newbery Medal for her book Missing May, the Newbery Honor award for A Fine White Dust, and Caldecott Honors for The Relatives Came and When I Was Young in the Mountains.

Classroom Activity

Explore the element of plot using the work of Cynthia Rylant. First, select a title appropriate to the grade level of your class. Ask your school librarian for a list of Rylant's titles from which you or your students may choose.

Have students work as a class on one book, or in small groups or individually on selected titles. Students can then use the ReadWriteThink Plot Diagram to map the plot of the selected story. Finally, invite students to create original literary works using the plot diagrams.

  • Younger students can adapt the story into a picture book by creating illustrations depicting the elements of plot.

  • Older students can rewrite the story by changing a plot element, such as the climax or resolution.


This biography of Cynthia Rylant includes quotes from her about her writing and her childhood.


This page offers a summary and classroom activities for teaching Missing May, Rylant's 1993 Newbery Medal winner.


This article, found on Houghton-Mifflin's Education Place website, introduces author Rylant and lists selected books she has written.


West Virginia Wesleyan College offers this page on Rylant, which includes brief biographical information, critical responses to Rylant's literature, a works published list, and a selected bibliography of articles about Rylant.

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