Looking for a great way to promote literacy at your school? A great idea is to host an author visit. As one of my jobs as a literacy coach, I plan a literacy week for my school. This year’s literacy activities were based on the award-winning author, Debra Frasier. From vocabulary parades to a family night, the students, staff, and families enjoyed it all.

5th grade students and Debra Frasier showcasing books written and illustrated by Debra Frasier.

Who is Debra Frasier? Debra Frasier is both an author and an illustrator. Her book, On the Day You Were Born, has over 1,000,000 copies in print. Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster has inspired students around the United States to dress up as vocabulary words. Her collage technique for creating her illustrations is an easy way for children to create their own pictures. Debra Frasier is an inspiring, passionate, author and illustrator.

Fifth grade student dressed as a science vocabulary word

My literacy week began by reading the book, Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster to students. The book is about a girl named Sage who mistakenly mixes up her vocabulary word, miscellaneous. Don’t worry, this “vocabulary disaster” has a happy ending which will inspire children to dress up as vocabulary words.

I have seen many different ways that schools and/or classrooms choose their words. At my school, we chose a theme for each grade level which is as follows:

  • Kindergarten – Community nouns
  • First Grade – Adjectives
  • Second Grade – Verbs
  • Third Grade – Adverbs
  • Fourth Grade – Social Studies
  • Fifth Grade – Science
Kindergarten students and teacher dressed as community nouns
4th grade student dressed as a social studies vocabulary word

Debra Frasier visited our school for a jam packed day filled with so many exciting events. First, she had three different assemblies for our students (K-1, 2-3, 4-5). During these sessions, she explained to the students how she generates her ideas and illustrates her pictures. She also chose three teachers to unknowingly dress up as Miss Alaineus. Yes, I was chosen. Yes, I was beyond excited (see my picture above). During the day, she had lunch with select fourth and fifth grade students. These students were chosen by winning a classroom vocabulary bee or participating in a letter writing activity. Our day activities ended with an inservice for teachers to help them incorporate vocabulary activities into their classroom.

Fourth and fifth grade students enjoyed lunch and a book activity with Debra Frasier

Our family night, hosted by Debra Frasier, was a huge success. The parents and students loved creating collages of dogs. Each participant was given a printed picture of a dog with information about it. Their task was to recreate the dog using only scissors, paper, and glue. It was amazing to see so many families actively engaged with this activity.

HHE Families enjoying creating dog collages using only scissors, paper, and glue
Dad and son shared their final creations of their dogs – so talented!
Pic collage of dog collages created by Debra Frasier

Our Literacy Week was enjoyed by the staff, parents, and students at Hollywood Hills Elementary. Please comment below if your school and/or class has participated in a vocabulary parade or if you have read any of Debra Frasier’s books.

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