Author & Text

David Macaulay was born in 1946.

December 02
Calendar Activity Type
Author & Text

Event Description

Born in England, Macaulay came to the U.S. as a child. He received his B.A. in architecture in 1969 and has since worked as an illustrator, graphic designer, and author. Macaulay is well known for his books on architectural structures, which feature a unique genre blend of fact and fiction. He has earned a number of awards for his work, including the Caldecott Medal (for Black and White) and Honor Awards (for Castle and Cathedral).


Classroom Activity

Invite your students to explore Macaulay's use of multiple genres by composing original multigenre texts using the interactive Multigenre Mapper. This tool invites students to create original works that include one drawing and three texts.

  • First, select a topic for students' multigenre texts. You might choose a subject you are currently studying in science or social studies or let students choose their own topics.

  • Next, ask students to brainstorm a set of subtopics and possible writing genres (for example, poetry, recipes, fables, journal entries, or news articles) that could be used to share the subtopics with readers in an engaging way.

  • Have students use the Multigenre Mapper Planning Sheet to write rough drafts of their texts.

  • Finally, have students visit the interactive Multigenre Mapper to compose their texts online.

Have students print and share their final texts, explaining how they blended different genres to create their final products. Create a display or index of the texts so that other students in the school can enjoy them. Include some of Macaulay's texts to tie the project together.



David Macaulay's site at Houghton Mifflin offers information about Macaulay and his books. Highlights include a video of Macaulay at work, animated demonstrations and slide shows of parts of his books, and the text of some of his speeches and interviews.


This workshop from the "Write in the Middle" program focuses on multigenre writing and includes a related reading from the NCTE journal Language Arts.


PBS offers this companion site to their series Building Big, hosted by David Macaulay. The site offers an Educator's Guide to the series, as well as several interactive features.



Related Resources