About the Author and Dedication
At KDES and MSSD we encourage students to write the same way "published" authors write. That is, we want to motivate them to follow the same process for writing. Having students write "About the Author" and "Dedication" pages are two very motivational strategies anyone can use.
About the Author
In the same way that published authors have a brief biographical sketch, we have our students write about themselves and add this to the end of the book. This "About the Author" page helps people know a little bit about our authors.
We often give a mini-lesson that shows a few examples of "About the Author" pages from some of the books they like to read. We explain to the students that they must write their paragraphs in the third-person (i.e. instead of "I was born in Minnesota, it should be, "Dave was born in Minnesota.")
After the mini-lesson, we help the students write their own "About the Author" pages. Once they understand the process, the students can then add their capsule biographies to every story they write.
DedicationAlmost all authors add a "Dedication" page to their books. The "Dedication" gives authors a chance to thank people for helping them with their book.
In our schools, we help students write dedications for all their books. Sometimes a student will write "Thank you to Mom for helping me with my homework," or "Thanks to my teacher for helping with math." We always provide several examples of books with "Dedication" pages for students to look through to get ideas.
Ross wanted to add "About the Author" and "Dedication" pages to his story. Although Ross does not always write in complete sentences, he understands the process. When asked, "Who do you want to thank?" he will say, "Trish", his teacher. When asked about himself, he will sign that he loves guinea pigs and rabbits, and that he likes to play with "Oreopig", the KDES pet guinea pig. The teacher helps him write this in sentences which he will then enter into the computer.
Upon completion of his first "About the Author" page, Ross will have a model to follow for the next story he writes. Our hope is that he will build on the first one as he writes the next one.
For more information about Dedication and About the Author, we recommend the following title:
Christelow, Eileen (1995). What Do Authors Do? New York: Clarion Books, ISBN 0-395-86621-9.