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 50 of the best virtual author activities below!
Read-Alouds for Elementary School Kids
These authors are offering read-alouds of their books and books by their favorite authors.
The author regularly shares read alouds of his books including Jack Goes West and I Love You Like a Pig on his Instagram profile.
Julia Cook, bestselling children’s author, has a large collection of read-alouds on her YouTube channel!
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!
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.
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.
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.
In addition to this read-aloud of his book, Big Bad Baby, the author also shares writing tips on his website.
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.
Award-winning author and illustrator, Susan B. Katz reads from her book, The Story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Activities and videos from the New York Times bestselling author of How I Became a Pirate and other amazing books.
Author Brittany Thurman reads aloud Medina’s book, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy.
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.
The author, illustrator, and founder of FableVision has created an archive of weekday read-aloud events on Facebook.
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.
Author chat for families and for young who are interested in fiction and how authors write books.
Virtual Author Activities for Middle School
Read-alouds and reading activities from favorite authors.
Darer has created learn from home resources including readings, mini-lessons, and prompts to her website.
Find Daily live drawing sessions on Facebook! Tony DiTerlizzi is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and illustrator who has been creating books for twenty years. He created The Spiderwick Chronicles with Holly Black, which has sold millions of copies around the world. His highly anticipated sequel to Kenny and the Dragon, KENNY & THE BOOK OF BEASTS, releases this fall.
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: Who is Ailey Benjamin Lane named after?
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!
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.
Author of the Lunch Lady graphic novel series, Krosoczka will be hosting a daily drawing webcast on YouTube at 2 PM EDT. You can also find videos on his website. Be sure to also check out his National Book Award Finalist, Hey Kiddo.
The author behind Enginerds has created some cool worksheets that will be updated every few days to keep kids entertained and engaged. These activities may be a good addition to your distance learning resources.
The author and illustrator has taken to YouTube to provide a glimpse into Chinese culture and a guide for drawing Chinese dragons.
Author of One for the Murphys, Fish in a Tree, and Shouting at the Rain, she has put together several videos for readers and teachers online.
He is reading a chapter a day from Book 1 of the Wingfeather Saga, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.
You may have to change the season or specific circumstances, but this collection of writing prompts is a great way to help your student build literacy skills, while giving them a chance to express themselves.
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 children into 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.
Neal Shusterman is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty award-winning books for children, teens, and adults, including the Arc of a Scythe series. “With so many people working and learning from home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), I wanted to give you all something special. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be doing some readings from my short story collections: MINDQUAKES and MINDSTORMS.” Available on Youtube.
The nonfiction science book author has created engaging video mini-lessons including a similes worksheet, researching skills, and more.
Mo Willems invites you into his studio every day for his lunch doodle! Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to 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.
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.
Due to public health concerns, these YA authors sadly had to cancel all in-person events for the release of BETWEEN BURNING WORLDS in March, and are connecting with readers through a virtual book tour.
Fans of the author of The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns? Here’s a link to some discussion questions surrounding 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!
Looking for writing prompts? This author has put together a list of prompts to get students thinking outside of the box.
To go along with his collection of youth novels, Hobbs has created resources and activities for teachers and librarians.
Check out the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Learning Guide for Silver Sparrow by this NEA creative writing fellow.
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!
Looking for more? We have over 130 online resources for learning at home here!