There’s something magical about hearing authors bring their stories to life. Whether it’s an all-new literary adventure or a cherished tale, read-alouds are a wonderful way to foster a love for books in our homes and classrooms. Many of our favorite writers have created videos and activities on social media to be shared with kids all around the world. We’ve rounded up over 40 of the best virtual author activities below!
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Virtual Author Activities and Read Alouds for Elementary School Kids
These authors offer read alouds of their books or they read books by their favorite authors.
1. Mac Barnett
The author regularly shares read alouds of his books, including Jack Goes West and I Love You Like a Pig , on his Instagram profile.
2. Julia Cook
This bestselling children’s author has a large collection of read aloud videos on her YouTube channel!
3. Fabien Cousteau
Fabien Cousteau, grandson of famed sea explorer Jacques Cousteau, and third-generation ocean explorer, took some time to read aloud from his book series, Fabien Cousteau Expeditions, and talk about his work in ocean conservation!
4. James Dean
On his Instagram page, the author shares videos that provide a behind-the-scenes look at story development and illustrations. On his YouTube channel, he also offers read alouds from his Pete the Cat series of books.
5. Julie Falatko
Enjoy a reading of Falatko’s book, Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book), by Stranger Things actor, David Harbour. This read aloud comes with a teacher’s guide.
6. Thelma Godin
Oprah Winfrey reads Godin’s book, The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen, which is accompanied by a handy teacher’s guide.
7. Monique Gray Smith
The author has added a collection of videos of herself reading from her picture books on Instagram. You may also learn more about her books on her website.
8. Dan Gutman
In this video, the author reads from his book Miss Blake is a Flake, but be sure to check his archives for more hilarious and entertaining read alouds and videos!
9. Bruce Hale
In addition to this read aloud of his book, Big Bad Baby, the author also shares writing tips on his website.
10. Oliver Jeffers
The author created a Stay at Home: Story Time section on his website, where he shares all of the videos from his Instagram Live read alouds.
11. Susan Katz
Award-winning author and illustrator Susan B. Katz reads from her book, The Story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
12. Melinda Long
Activities and videos from the bestselling author of How I Became a Pirate and other amazing books.
13. Tony Medina
Author Brittany Thurman reads aloud from Medina’s book, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy.
14. Kate Messner
A former classroom teacher, Messner has written more than three dozen books for kids. In addition to this read aloud, she’s put together a library of distance learning resources for students, families, teachers, and librarians.
15. Peter Reynolds
The author, illustrator, and founder of FableVision has created an archive of weekday read-aloud events on Facebook.
16. Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Young kids will enjoy this great read-aloud of Where Are My Books? The author also provides a teacher’s guide, drawing demos, and shares a crowd-sourced music video based on the book.
17. Heather Shumaker
Author chat for families and for young interested in fiction and how authors write books.
18. David Shannon
Follow the story of A Bad Case of Stripes as read by Lord of the Rings actor, Sean Astin. Then, work through the helpful teacher’s guide.
19. Tanya Lee Stone
Learn the story of The House That Jane Built as read by The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina actress, Kiernan Shipka. You may access activity guides for teachers or for parents.
Virtual Author Activities for Middle School
Read alouds and reading activities from favorite authors.
20. Peter Butzl
The author has put together reading activities for his Cogheart Adventures and Q&A videos on YouTube.
21. Sarah Darer Littman
Darer has created a Home Learning section on her website, which includes resources such as readings, mini-lessons, and prompts to her website.
22. Tony DiTerlizzi
The Spiderwick Chronicles and Kenny and the Dragon author has created a YouTube channel offering read alouds and timelapse book illustration videos.
23. Leah Henderson
Listen to a read aloud of Henderson’s The Magic in Changing Your Stars and then work through the writing challenge (with hints!) listed on author Kate Messner’s site.
24. Jeff Kinney
This official PDF teaching guide is a great learning resource for your middle schooler to think about and discuss the beloved Diary of a Wimpy Kid series!
25. Jo Knowles
Watch Knowles read the first chapter of her middle-grade novel, Where the Heart Is, while giving students a fun writing exercise. She’s also created guides for teachers and book groups on her website.
26. Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Author of the Lunch Lady graphic novel series, Krosoczka has a robust YouTube channel filled with art and illustration tutorials, comic lessons, and more. Be sure to also check out his National Book Award Finalist, Hey Kiddo.
27. Jarrett Lerner
The author behind Enginerds has created some cool worksheets and a classroom guide to keep students entertained and engaged.
28. Grace Lin
The author and illustrator has taken to YouTube to provide a glimpse into Chinese culture and a guide for drawing Chinese dragons. On her website, you’ll also find fun activities, podcasts, videos for kids, and videos for educators. You can even request a virtual school visit!
29. Madelyn Rosenberg
You may have to change the season or specific circumstances, but this collection of writing prompts is a great way to help your students build literacy skills while giving them a chance to express themselves.
30. J.K. Rowling
What better series for middle schoolers than the famous Harry Potter books? You probably loved them, and now you have the chance to introduce your students to the Wizarding World. Use this handy discussion guide that covers the first four books to bring an academic approach to your own little wizards’ education.
31. Neal Shusterman
The bestselling author of more than thirty award-winning books for children, teens, and adults, including the Arc of a Scythe series, has created virtual readings on his Youtube channel .
32. Melissa Stewart
The nonfiction science book author has created engaging video mini-lessons, including a similes worksheet, researching skills, and more.
33. Mo Willems
Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo Williams for Lunch Doodles. These videos explore ways of writing and making together while he chats about his characters, Pigeon, Piggie, and Elephant.
Virtual Author Activities for High School & Young Adults
Even more resources for tweens and teens.
34. Tracey Baptiste
The author of The Jumbies series has created videos of mini-lessons on comparative mythology and has added valuable distance learning resources, including downloadables for teachers and parents, to her website.
35. John Green
Are your students fans of the author of The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns? These discussion questions will help them dig deeper into his works. Green has also co-created Crash Course, a website that provides high-quality educational videos for high school and college-level classes. Students, parents, and teachers alike could be entertained for hours without ever leaving the site!
36. April Henry
Looking for writing prompts? This author has put together a list of prompts to get students thinking outside of the box.
37. Will Hobbs
To go along with his collection of youth novels, Hobbs has created resources and activities for teachers and librarians.
38. Tayari Jones
Check out the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Learning Guide and Reader Resources for Silver Sparrow by this NEA creative writing fellow.
39. Liz Garton Scanlon
Want to learn more about writing an etheree (a ten-line poem in which writers add an additional syllable with each line)? Scanlon has a video lesson all about them!
40. Joyce Sidman
Ready to work on some poetry? It can be tough to know where to start, but Sidman has created poem starters for teachers and students and even has categories for beginners or intermediates.
41. Angie Thomas
Students or kids reading Thomas’ The Hate U Give? You’ll find some good distance learning resources for discussion questions and projects on this website.
Like these virtual author activities? Looking for more? We have hundreds of online resources here!