Each year we do one Author Study in Kindergarten, Eric Carle, and two in first grade, Kevin Henkes and Mem Fox, and with each author study we do a chart including some facts about the author. I've never enjoyed doing these charts because basically, I had all the information and I never could get the engagement I wanted with the students. This year I tried something new. I sent home a homework page that was optional. I asked the students (and their parents) to go to the author's web site and find out one fact about the author's family, one fact about one of the author's books and then one fact that they just thought was interesting.
This year when we made the chart, the students were totally engaged. Many of the students had been on the web site and had discovered all kinds of interesting information. They couldn't wait to share and to add on to what their classmates said. I added the students' names to each statement and that added to the engagement. This is a keeper!