The 6th grade spent a lot of time this year on Author Studies, research projects based on the analysis of the work of an author of their choice, culminating in grand displays and oral reports to the class. When D. gave her author study about Amy Krouse Rosenthal (author of books such as Little Pea, Little Hoot, Little Oink, Cookies: Bite Size Life Lessons and the bestselling Duck! Rabbit!) D. complained that there were a lot of facts she could not find on the internet. So what better way to get information from a primary source than to ask the author...in person? A very, very, very surprise visit to Ms. Downing's class from the great and generous Ms. Rosenthal shocked her biographer, and revealed (almost) all to D. and her classmates: yes, she is married, and she is 29 years old. Thereabouts.
Whole group author study? Five weeks.
Small group author study? Six weeks.
Independent author study? Eight weeks.
Seeing the 6th grade faint when a real author enters the room to answer questions?