Author & Text

Children's author Patricia Polacco was born in 1944.

July 11
Calendar Activity Type
Author & Text

Event Description

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.

Classroom Activity

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.


A moving piece by Patricia Polacco on a teacher who had a positive influence on her life.

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'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.

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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