#13. It’s Friday, and I’m doing my 13th post! May the superstitious beware…

learn about an author teacher lesson plan worksheet

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Wanna know more about the author of a famous work of literature? Read the comments on this post, because that’s our literary challenge of the day…

You’ve been reading a classic novel. You might even be half-way through it by now, right? Time to learn more about the author who wrote that literary classic!

  1. Find your book’s author on Wikipedia.
  2. Read about him/her.
  3. List three interesting facts about the author that you think will help you understand his/her motives for writing the novel you’ve chosen to read.
  4. Add a link with your comment, so we can all find your author on Wikipedia.
  5. Don’t forget to include your author’s name and the title of the book you’re reading.

You’re always hankering for an example. Here’s one:

  • I found my author on Wikipedia.
  • I read the WHOLE page about the author on Wikipedia.
  • Here are three interesting facts about him:
  1. Stevenson’s friend, William Henley, had a wooden leg. He provided a model for the character of Long John Silver in Treasure Island.
  2. Stevenson traveled extensively, enjoying visits to the United States, Hawaii, Tahiti, and the Samoan Islands. His voyages at sea probably helped him with his description of boats and sailing.
  3. His editor changed his original title, which was The Sea Cook, to Treasure Island. I like Treasure Island better.

28 responses »

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

    1.) she was the seventh of eight children
    2.) her novels were based around her time of life
    3.) she died a quiet peaceful death

  2. edgar rice burroughs was born september 1 1875 and he is best known for the book Tarzan of the apes he was born in chicago he also spent half a year at his brothers ranch on the raft river in idaho he maryied a girl named emma he had three children

  3. 1.) I found my author on wikipedia.
    2.) I read the page. . . took forrrrrrrrrrrrrrrever. just sayin(;
    3.) Here are tres interesting facts about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle!(:
    a.) Doyles’ first wife suffered from tuberculosis, and they wed in 1885, but she died in 1906(July 4th, to be exact!!).
    b.) A lot of Arthur’s family died; his wife, his brothers, son, nephew, etc., and after that, he sank into a state of depression. He started looking into spiritualism to find out more about life after death.
    c.) Doyle died at age 71 of a heart attack; his last words were toward his new wife, saying “You are wonderful.” His grave can be found in Minstead, England.

    This is is wikipedia page:

    I’m reading The adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

  4. A Christmas Carol BY Charles Dickens

    1. He thought of himself as a “very small and not-over-particularly-taken-care-of boy”.

    2. In 1833, Charles Dickens’ first story, A Dinner at Poplar Walk was published in the London periodical, Monthly Magazine.

    3. In 1830, Dickens met his first love, Maria Beadnell, thought to have been the model for the character Dora in David Copperfield. Maria’s parents disapproved of the courtship and effectively ended the relationship by sending her to school in Paris.


    • Coop: Your response seems very hurried. Did you really read through the whole Wikipedia article on Steinbeck? If so, you should be able to find more significant information that indicates what inspired him to write this novel. Did he ever live near a cannery? Was anyone in his family suicidal? Look for clues in his own life that affect the tale’s development. Include those in your response.

      This answer didn’t receive credit. You’ll need to re-do it. Slow down. Get it done right.

      • Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
        1. He used real American events that occurred in his novel that he experienced first hand as a reporter
        2. 2.Growing up in a culturally diverse area gave him a particular essence in his writing
        3. He modeled characters as people in his stories. For example his good friend Ed Rickets was the model for the character Doc in Cannery Row
        I got my information from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Steinbeck#Literary_influences

  5. 1. The Francisco earthquake of 1906 left London homeless; this reflects the story because the dog Buck in the story was also forced to leave his home.
    2. On July 12, 1897, London (age 21) and his sister’s husband Captain Shepard sailed to join the Klondike Gold Rush, which explains in 1 of the short stories in this book the is a character that is a person from the Klondike area.
    3. Chaney (London’s father) demanded that Flora Wellman (his mother) have an abortion. When she refused, he disclaimed responsibility for the child. In desperation, she shot herself. She was not seriously wounded, but she was temporarily deranged. After she gave birth, Flora turned the baby over to ex-slave Virginia Prentiss, who remained a major maternal figure throughout London’s life. This explains why in the story the sled dog driver was about to shoot Buck but was saved by John Thorton who buck lives with for a long time until he was killed by Indians.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_London This page was last modified on 18 February 2011 at 04:38.

  6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
    1. Charlotte Bronte went to the Clergy Daughters’ School in Cowan Bridge in Lancashire which she used as a model for the school Lowood in Jane Eyre.
    2. Charlotte and her two sisters Emily and Anne published a joint collection of books under the names Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.
    3. Charlotte wrote Jane Eyre as an autobiography under the pen name Currer Bell.
    Here is a link on Charlotte Bronte:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Brontë

  7. Around the world in 80 days by Jules Gabriel Verne

    1. Hes Known for science fiction and is known as the “father of science fiction.”
    2.Here Verne and his brother Paul would often rent a boat for a Franc a day. The sight of the many ships navigating the river sparked Jules’s imagination.
    3.After he finished college he began to write the telling of delightfully extravagant voyages and adventures to which cleverly prepared scientific and geographical details lent an air of verisimilitude and became a very successful author.
    I got my information from

    • Kevin, you need to check out this LINK when you’re at home. It’s called “Around the World in 800 Days” and it’s got AWESOME pics! It’s about a pair of modern-day world travelers/photographers. They compare themselves to Philias Fogg, but their blog talks about modern concerns like global warming and the destruction of the rain forests.

  8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
    1. Charlotte Bronte went to the Clergy Daughters’ School in Cowan Bridge in Lancashire which she used as a model for the school Lowood in Jane Eyre.
    2. Charlotte and her two sisters Emily and Anne published a joint collection of books under the names Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.
    3. Charlotte wrote Jane Eyre as an autobiography under the pen name Currer Bell.
    Here is a link on Charlotte Bronte:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Brontë

  9. •I found my author on Wikipedia.
    •I read the WHOLE page about the author on Wikipedia.
    •Here are three interesting facts about him:

    1.The Council for Advancement and Support of Education selected him as the Massachusetts State Professor of the Year.

    2.In 1979 he married Alida Carolyn Fechner, who had a daughter, Elena Milad; the couple had a son, David Julius. The marriage ended in 1991. In 1995 he married Milan Sabatini; his stepdaughter from this marriage is performance artist Lián Amaris.

    3.He has published more than 200 essays and book and film reviews for such publications as The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Op-Ed page, The Boston Globe, Village Voice, New Republic, Moment, Forward and Dissent.

    •The Wikipedia page for Julius Lester can be found below.
    Wikipedia page for Julius Lester
    •My book is Othello by Julius Lester.

  10. The Red Pony by John Steinbeck

    •I found my author on Wikipedia.
    •I read the WHOLE page about the author on Wikipedia.
    •Here are three interesting facts about him:]

    1.He won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
    2.He worked on farms a lot. He also grew up on one.
    3.The first three chapters that he wrote in The Red Pony he published in magazines.

    •The Wikipedia page for John Steinbeck is Biography on John Steinbeck
    •My book is The Red Pony by John Steinbeck.

  11. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.

    1. I learned that she was born into a very poor family.
    2. I learned that ‘Finch’ was her mother’s name, which is the protagonist’s name in my book.
    3. She had the privlage to enter law school for a few years.

    So overall, the book “To Kill a Mockingbird”, is practically about her life, and what she experianced when she was younger.


  12. The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

    1. Ten Boom told the story of her family and their work during World War II in her most famous book, The Hiding Place (1971), which was made into a film by World Wide Pictures in 1975.

    2. The Nazis arrested the entire Ten Boom family on February 28, 1944 at around 12:30 with the help of a Dutch informant. They were sent first to Scheveningen prison (where her father died ten days after his capture). Corrie’s sister Nollie, brother Willem, and nephew Peter were all released. Later, Corrie and Betsie were sent to the Vught political concentration camp (both in the Netherlands), and finally to the notorious Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany on December 16, 1944, where Corrie’s sister Betsie died. Before she died she told Corrie, “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.” Corrie was released on New Year’s Eve of December 1944.

    3.Because of the number of people using their house as a safe place from the Nazis, the Ten Booms were encouraged to build a secret room in case a raid took place. After inspection, it was decided that the room would be built in Corrie’s bedroom, as it was in the highest part of the house, which gave people who were trying to hide the most time to avoid detection (as a search would start on the ground floor). The hidden room was behind a false wall, designed by a member of the Dutch resistance. They were able to sneak bricks and other building supplies into the house by hiding them in briefcases and rolled up newspapers. When finished, the secret room was about 30 inches deep; the size of a medium wardrobe. A ventilation system allowed for breathing. To enter the secret room, a person would have to open a sliding panel in a cupboard, and crawl in on their hands and knees. In addition, an electronic buzzer was installed to give the house’s residents warning of a raid. When the Nazis raided the Ten Boom house in 1944, six people used the hiding place to escape detection.

    The link to Corrie ten Boom’s Wikipedia page is:

  13. Roots by Alex Haley
    I found my information on Wikipedia
    Five interesting facts about Alex Haley
    1. Alex Haley was related to Kunta Kinte. That is why he wrote the book Roots.
    2. Alex Haley conducted his first interview with Playboy magazine.
    3. Alex Haley traveled back over to Juffure where Kunta grew up. He also did ten years of research to write Roots.
    4. Roots was published in 37 different languages.
    5. Alex Haley was the first Chief journalist in the Coast Guard after World War 2.
    This is where I got my information for Alex Haley.

  14. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

    1. He was raised in Oklahoma on a farm in the Ozark mountains ,which explains the setting in the book. Also he was home schooled by his mother and had sisters just like in the book.

    2. He wrote a manuscript to Where the Red Fern Grows when he was younger and didn’t show anyone. Later he decided he was ashamed of his manuscript and he then burned it, after he got married he told his wife about the manuscript and she convinced him to rewrite the manuscript.

    3. After taking three weeks to rewrite Where the Red Fern Grows his wife decided that she would edit it because she was educated. After editing they decided to send it to a publisher and it got published.


  15. • I found my author on Wikipedia.
    • I read the WHOLE page about the author on Wikipedia.
    • Here are five interesting facts about him:
    1. He was born in Switzerland in 1743 and died in 1818.
    2. He was inspired by Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.
    3. He wanted to write a book in which his children could learn from, as the father in the story taught important lessons to his children.
    4. The story started from stories he made up as bedtime stories for his children.
    5. His son organized and published his father’s manuscript in 1812-1813.
    • The Wikipedia page for Johann David Wyss is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_David_Wyss
    • My book is The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss.

  16. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

    1.Mark Twain was not only an author but also a humorist and from what I have read that’s true.

    2.He became a master riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River… that’s very different.

    3.He achieved great success as a writer and public speaker. His wit and satire earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.

    I got my information from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Twain

  17. 1. Jane Austen was never married, which may explain why she wrote romantic fiction. Maybe she wrote romance because she was lonely.
    2. According to wikipedia, “Austen’s works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century realism.” I think that’s talking about how she shows the unfairness that women in the 18th century had to put up with, because if they didn’t get married, they couldn’t hold jobs; they had to rely on their father’s money to survive.
    3. It sounds like her family was very secretive about Jane Austen’s real life and experiences. Her sister even burned her letters, so that nobody could read them.
    The Wikipedia page for Jane Austen is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Austen
    My book is Emma by Jane Austen.

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