Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Florida's Prize-Winning Authors

Cynthia Youngblood
Santa Rosa District Schools


After students study a gazetteer of Florida's prize-winning authors in a pamphlet entitled Florida Literary Map, they select one of the mentioned authors, research his or her life, take notes, and prepare a brief biographical report.


The student uses a variety of reference materials, including indexes, magazines, newspapers, and journals, and tools, including card catalogs and computer catalogs, to gather information for research topics.

The student organizes information before writing according to the type and purpose of writing.

The student drafts and revises writing that -is focused, purposeful, reflects insight into the writing situation;-conveys a sense of completeness and wholeness with adherence to the main idea;-has an organizational pattern that provide for a logical progression of ideas;-has support that is substantial, specific, revelant, concrete, and/or illustrative;-demonstrates a commitment to and an involvement with the subject;-has clarity in presentation of ideas;uses creative writing strategies appropriate to the purpose of the paper;demonstrates a command of language (word choice) with freshness of expression;has varied sentence structure and sentences that are complete except when fragments are used and purposefully; andhas few, if any, convention errors in mechanics, usage, and punctuation.

The student produces final documents that have been edited for-correct spelling;-correct punctuation, including commas, colons, and semicolons;-correct common usage, including subject/verb agreement, common noun/pronoun agreement, common possessive forms, and with a variety of sentence structures,including parallel structure; and-correct formatting.


-Pamphlet: [Florida Literary Map] Editor: Jean D. Trebbi, 1994, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Florida Center of the Book (A copy or copies of this pamphlet may be obtained from Florida Humanities Council, 1514 ˝ East Eighth Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33605-3708.)
-Note cards
-Clear plastic folder for completed report


1. Obtain pamphlets from Florida Humanities Council. (See Materials list.)
2. Read and study pamphlet.
3. Make arrangements to schedule time in the media center for a week’s research.
4. Make copies of Research Paper Evaluation Form for all students.


1. Lecture on the state of Florida as a place that deeply affects the lives and culture of the 14 million people who live here, the 44 million who visit each year, and the 900-a-day who move here. Florida takes great pride in counting among its residents numerous of internationally and nationally recognized authors.

2. Distribute pamphlets on [Florida’s Literary Map] to students.

3. Instruct students to look at the literary map and the gazetteer of Florida prize-winning authors. Ask if any of the author’s names and works are familiar to them.

4. Instruct students to silently and independently read the article in the pamphlet entitled [Paradise for the Written Word: 400 Years of Literary History] by Kevin M. McCarthy. Instruct students to study the map.

5. Assign students a brief, biographical research report on one of Florida’s writers.

6. Explain the writing of formal research papers that follow the guidelines of the Modern Language Association (MLA).

7. Students visit the library for thirty minutes each day for a week, researching the life of a writer from Florida.

8. Students read general resource materials to get an overview of selected topic.

9. Students write an outline for headings and subheadings to be discussed in paper.

10. Students take notes on 3x5 lined note cards.

11. When research is completed, students organize note cards and write a rough draft, using the note card information.

12. Informally assess rough draft of paper.

13. Return rough drafts to students.

14. Students write final paper.

15. The report is evaluated using the Research Paper Evaluation Form. (See associated files.)


Assessment occurs through an informal formative assessment of the rough draft.
Additional assessment occurs through examination of the final research report, using the evaluation form. (See associated file.)


Students need to review the MLA guidelines for writing a research paper.

Attached Files

Research Evaluation Form     File Extension: pdf

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