Cam Jansen, by far, is one of the best series of Early Elementary Chapter Books! Cam Jansen and her friends solve a crime in each book. They are written by David Adler, who is one amazing Children's Authors. He writes both fiction and nonfiction texts that are informative and enjoyable for kids everyone. Besides Cam, my favorite has to be his biography series and his money book, Money Madness! I was lucky enough to have this particular story in one of our readers and I just LOVED teaching from it! So, how does Cam fit into Cam Jansen and The Mystery of Author's Purpose? Let's take a look.
The Mystery of Author's Purpose
The Mystery of Author's Purpose has been a challenge for both teachers and students since the onset of Common Core. Things have changed and we wonder what these Standards are really asking us to understand! We "unpack" them over and over, but we still wonder how should we teach them. Many of us still follow the old P.I.E. idea. Persuade, Inform, or Entertain is important, but it is NOT what the Standards are asking us to teach the students anymore.
That doesn't mean that we don't, it means it is just the surface level of Author's Purpose. We now have to dive in and REALLY understand it to teach it properly. Enter Cam Jansen.
How Cam Jansen Solves the Mystery
Cam Jansen is a mystery series. To REALLY understand it, you have to dive into Author's Purpose. Students from late 1st grade to early 3rd grade can enjoy these books, especially since they have Junior Cam Jansen books for those who might struggle in 2nd grade. This can simply start by looking at the author themselves to discover the whys of a story. David Adler explains the why - he had a friend like Cam - or is it the other way around! Cam is modeled after a friend he had in 2nd grade! Author's Purpose starts right there. David Adler was so impressed by his friend that he made a character just like that friend! David Adler thinks of stories like math problems - a way to find solutions - just like Cam does! Can you see where this is going! By digging into the author, you can begin to build the point of view of characters! That's what Author's Purpose is!!
As we begin to break down Cam Jansen and The Mystery of Author's Purpose, we have to begin to think about how to share the information we learn about the author with the students. One of the easiest ways is to create a PowerPoint to share with students. This can be done by simply using the biography of the author and rewording it for students into slides. Also include questions that make students think about how the author interacted with the development of the character! These questions can be formed from question stems that you can find in my Author's Purpose product - which are included in THIS product also! This gets students focused on how this is all tied together!
Pre-Reading Activities Can Help Solve the Mystery
Another way for students to get focused on Author's Purpose is to provide them with a pre-reading activity. This pre-reading activity breaks down all parts of the story so students can examine how the very presence of the book is determined by the author and their purpose. Being aware of the author and what they want or need as an author is KEY to unlocking The Mystery of Author's Purpose!
These are just a few ways that Cam Jansen solves The Mystery of Author's Purpose. Through the PowerPoint Presentation and the targeted work on the pre-reading activity, students are prepped to focus more on Author's Purpose activities found throughout this book study! So, are you ready to solve The Mystery of Author's Purpose with Cam Jansen? I bet you and your students are and they will learn so much! Let me know what you think below too!