Thursday, September 4, 2008

Reader's Workshop Welcomes Mem Fox - Our Author Study

For the next few weeks, we will be reading, studying and learning about the works of our author for our author study, Mem Fox. Mem was born in Melbourne, Australia in March 1946. Mem Fox declares herself first a teacher and then a writer. Her first book, Possum Magic, was rejected nine times over five years but went on to become (and continues to be, to this day) the best-selling children’s book in Australia, with over two million copies sold. Since Possum Magic, she has written 28 books for children.

The purpose of this author study is to guide and support student's comprehension and in-depth thinking as a response to literature. In this study, they will see how Mem Fox draws upon her everyday life to create her stories. Her themes include family love, birth and dying, and relationships between the old and young.

Today in Reader's Workshop, students were given baskets of Mem Fox books and invited to explore them. They noticed the characters: "Look how big his hands are!"; settings, "This looks like the Outback"; and Australian animals, "I've seen an emu before." Afterwards, we had a discussion about their explorations, wonderings and noticings about the books they scanned. Information was recorded on an "About Mem Fox" chart and students began to make connections and discoveries about the literature of Mem Fox. Our author study will continue through the month of September and already we can tell that we have made a good friend!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

G'day, I am Anne Mirtschin from Australia. Our kids all love Mem Fox as well. I was lucky to go to a teachers' conference once, when Mem presented. She read her story to us first and she was the BEST story teller. What do you think of her books?
I teach grade two once a week for technology and we are hoping that we might be able to work together. Our grade two blog is at or we are celebrating literacy and numeracy this week. You can see what are popular books with our students by reading the post at