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HomeClassroom ResourcesCalendar Activities

July 11

Children's author Patricia Polacco was born in 1944.

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Children's author Patricia Polacco was born in 1944.

Grades 3 – 8
Calendar Activity Type Author & Text





Author Patricia Polacco was born in Lansing, Michigan. Her writing is inspired by her rich Russian, Ukrainian, and Irish cultural heritage. As a child, Polacco struggled to learn to read and learned that she was dyslexic at the age of 14. In her stories, she shares with readers her childhood, her struggles and triumphs in school, and her diverse cultural background.




Have your students share family stories of their own by writing original poems and reviewing parts of speech using the Diamante Poems tool.

  • Begin by having students brainstorm important or special childhood memories or people. Examples might be a grandparent or other relative, a memorable trip, or a hardship they have overcome.
  • You can also have students explore their memories with the Exploring and Sharing Family Stories lesson.
  • Then have each student select the topic they will write about and access the Diamante Poems tool.
  • Using the tool, students choose adjectives, nouns, and -ing words describing the topic they've selected to create a diamond-shaped poem.



  • A Video Interview with Patricia Polacco

    In this Reading Rockets resource, students can watch a video interview with Patricia Polacco online or read a transcript of the interview. They can also access a short biography of Polacco and a list of selected children's books she has written.

  • Patricia Polacco.com

    Patricia Polacco's site offers information about Polacco and her books for both teachers and students, including activity ideas for teachers, coloring pages and puzzles, and biographical information.

  • "The Teacher Who Changed Everything"

    A moving piece by Patricia Polacco on a teacher who had a positive influence on her life.

  • Patricia Polacco Author Study

    Start your author study by reading a short biography of Patricia Polacco and choosing some of her books to read . Then use the activities and lessons included to have fun with her culturally diverse characters and stunning illustrations.


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Grades   K – 4  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Digging Deeper: Developing Comprehension Using Thank You, Mr. Falker

A read-aloud of Patricia Polacco's Thank You, Mr. Falker helps promote deeper comprehension through questioning to achieve personal connections and discussions of character and theme.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Recurring Lesson

Acquiring New Vocabulary Through Book Discussion Groups

This lesson employs direct instruction and small-group discussion to help students learn new vocabulary skills while reading Patricia Polacco's Pink and Say.


Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Using Picture Books to Explore Identity, Stereotyping, and Discrimination

Students analyze the concepts of identity, stereotyping, and discrimination by reading picture books; identify how these concepts are dealt with in each book; and discuss concrete actions to stop discrimination.


Grades   2 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

A Schema-Building Study With Patricia Polacco

Students use the Semantic Impressions and Possible Sentences strategies to write about Patricia Polacco's books Chicken Sunday and Rechenka's Egg, complete a character study, and write using a WebQuest.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Creating Family Timelines: Graphing Family Memories and Significant Events

Students interview family members, and then create graphic family timelines based on important and memorable family events.