What is Author's Chair?

This strategy provides a way for readers to share with each other the excitement of a particular moment in relation to a book or to their own writing. Author's Chair is the final step in the writing process. A special time and place is allotted to writers who wish to share their final products with an audience. Because the writing has already gone through revising and editing based on constructive criticism, Author's Chair is an opportunity for the writer to receive positive feedback from their classmates. The student in the author's chair reads aloud a selected piece of text or a piece of their own writing. Peers then have an opportunity to respond to what is read aloud.

What is its purpose?

  • to develop students' concept of authorship
  • to emphasize that students' ideas and experiences are worthy of preservation and sharing
  • to develop collaborative learning abilities and peer editing skills
  • provide an audience for hard work done well is a motivating force for children to write more in the future.
  • as an active-listening audience member, students develop listening and attention span skills.
  • analyze written work requires reflection and critical thinking abilities. Giving and receiving feedback is beneficial for both parties. Both the presenter and the audience member's own writing improves as a result of the critique.

How can I do it?

  • Facing the audience, an individual reads a personal draft or polished composition.
  • The author shares accompanying illustrations with the audience.
  • The audience is respectful and accepting of the author's efforts.
  • The author requests comments from audience members.
  • First responses are positive.
  • Comments focus upon favourite events and characters or particularly interesting and impressive uses of language.
  • The author or audience direct questions about the clarity and the effectiveness of passages, or about the language structures or specific vocabulary.
  • The audience offers suggestions.
  • Initially teachers model and guide audience responses.

How can I adapt it?

  • Beginning writers can share drawings with captions or limited text.
  • Students could share their writing with younger students.
  • An "author of the week" could be chosen regularly. The individual's work could be put on display and peers could post their comments about particular compositions. Items for display should be chosen by the author.
  • Allow children time to share their reasoning at the 'math author's chair,' a special chair for students to explain to their classmates their own solution to a problem.
  • This procedure should apply to writing efforts in all subject areas. Examples of narrative and expository writing should be shared.

Assessment & Evaluation Considerations

  • Students' interest and participation as authors and listeners is observed and recorded.
  • Note comments posed and questions asked about drafts which identify needs for instruction.
  • Sessions could be audio or video taped

Teacher Resources


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