Author Research Powerpoint

Author Exploration
Mrs. Terry
Language Arts
Your Goals and Instructions:
Use the internet to research the author of the
independent book you have chosen to read
for first quarter.
Create a PowerPoint presentation to share
this information.
Following these instructions, you will see an
example based on the short story “Seventh
Grade” by Gary Soto.
Required Information:
Include slides for the following:
 Information about the author’s life, background, education,
family, etc.
 Information about books and stories they have published,
including any awards
 A quote from the author
 Information about the setting and historical/context of your
book (when and where)
 An excerpt from the book or another work by the author (I
used a poem for my example)
 10 vocabulary words from what you have read so far in
the book, their definitions and pictures to represent them
My Example:
The following slides will give you an idea of
what I am looking for in your Powerpoint.
Be sure to save your work in your Server
Documents and give it a title you will
Be sure that your name and hour appear on
your first slide.
Include pictures to enhance your
“Seventh Grade”
By Gary Soto
PowerPoint by
Mrs. Terry
Gary Soto…
Is the author of three novels, a memoir,
several young-adult and children’s stories, and
eleven poetry collections.
He has won numerous awards for his work.
As “the writer Joyce Carol Oates has said, "Gary
Soto's poems are fast, funny, heartening, and
achingly believable, like Polaroid love letters, or
snatches of music heard out of a passing car;
patches of beauty like patches of sunlight; the
very pulse of a life."
About his Life…
Gary Soto was born
in Fresno, California,
in April, 1952, to working-class MexicanAmerican parents.
At a young age, he worked in the fields of the
San Joaquin Valley.
He was not academically motivated as a
child, but became interested in poetry during
his high school years.
His Life, Continued…
He attended Fresno City College and
California State University at Fresno while
working toward an undergraduate degree,
and later studied poetry at the University of
California, Irvine, where he earned his MFA
Master’s of Fine Arts) in 1976.
His first collection of poems, The Elements of
San Joaquin, won the United States Award of
the International Poetry Forum in 1976 and
was published in 1977.
A Quote from Gary Soto…
Where do you get your ideas for your
novels, stories, and poems? I’m also a
listener. I hear lines of poetry issue from the
mouths of seemingly ordinary people. And,
as a writer, my duty is not to make people
perfect, particularly Mexican Americans. I’m
not a cheerleader.
I’m one who provides
portraits of people in the
rush of life.
Setting of the story
“Seventh Grade”
“Seventh Grade” takes place in a school
in Fresno, California, which is the fifth
largest city in the state.
Fresno, which means ash tree in Spanish
is located in the center of the San Joaquin
Valley in Central California.
There is no particular time era mentioned in the
story, which leads the reader to assume that it takes
place at the time it was written, in the 1980’s.
The story takes place on the first day of school.
Historical Context
of “Seventh Grade”
This story likely took place in the 1980’s
Clues: computer cards, crackling loud speaker, GQ
Historical and Cultural Highlights of the 1980’s:
the Cold War, conflict in the Middle East, space shuttle
Challenger tragedy, E.T., Flashdance, Michael Jackson,
Madonna, the cola wars (Coke vs. Pepsi), the preppie
look, punk, neon, spandex, leg warmers, computer
technology still new and evolving.
This is a screen from an Atari video game.
We thought this was very cool in the 80’s!
Cultural Context
The main characters are
are Mexican-American.
The characters attended a Catholic school as
children “…since they were in catechism
classes at Saint Theresa’s…” pg. 1
The characters are probably not wealthy.
According to the text, the boys picked grapes
in order to buy their fall clothes.
An Excerpt from the poem “Oranges”
by Gary Soto
A few cars hissing past,
Fog hanging like old
Coats between the trees.
I took my girl's hand
In mine for two blocks,
Then released it to let
Her unwrap the chocolate.
I peeled my orange
That was so bright against
The gray of December
That, from some distance,
Someone might have thought
I was making a fire in my hands.
Vocabulary Words from
“Seventh Grade”
elective: optional course or subject
conviction: belief
sheepishly: in a shy or
embarrased way
Sibera: a region in northern Asia
known for its harsh winters
Vocabulary, Continued…
portly: large, heavy, rounded
ferocity: having great force
linger: to stay; to remain
scowl: an expression of anger; frown
Spanish Words Used in the Story
raza or “race” refers to people of MexicanAmerican, particularly MexicanNative American descent
saludo de vato: Spanish gestures of
greetings between friends
ese: man
French Language Used in the Story
Bonjour: “Hello” or “Good Day”
Très bien. Parlez-vous français? “Very well.
Do you speak French?”
Le bateau est sur l’eau:
“The boat is on the water.”