You are viewing our website as a(n)


  1. Home
  2. Writing
  3. Publishing
  4. Illustrators


From The Writing Strategies Book (Serravalo, 2017), Illustrators, or Illustrator-Author Matchup, is a sharing & publishing strategy that adds layers of value to the audience member’s role.


For this strategy, the intent is to provide writers with an authentic audience while simultaneously compelling that audience to interact more purposefully with the author’s work.

Once a writing task is completed, pair students with partners and have students swap writings. With the partner’s writing in hand, students then read the others’ writing deliberately while attempting to think about an image that would capture and represent the author’s work meaningfully. After reading, students then illustrate (sketch, draw, paint, etc.) the cover image for that work.

After students have finished illustrations, reveal and share the illustrations with a presentation of how the illustrator experienced the writing and why the illustration represents that work or what part of the work inspired the idea. Consider an unveiling celebration experience such as in small groups.

Alternatively, to create a greater level of anticipation and interest, collect students’ writing and randomly distribute the writing without names attached so that illustrators enter the experience with as little social influence as possible. Then hold the reveal whole-class.

For additional authenticity in the experience, consider seeking out another class to illustrate the writings, such as an art class. For elementary writers, seek out middle school or high school students to illustrate the writings with reveals in the form of video recordings.


In one high school example, high school students were composing children’s stories. Their assignment went as follows:

  • High school students surveyed elementary students (K-2 classes), asking them about (1) characters, (2) problems/conflicts, and (3) settings. Elementary students shared these ideas in videos.
  • High school students then selected one elementary student each and composed a children’s story based on that student’s ideas.
  • When the stories were outlined, high school students shared the general story outline with elementary students in a video.
  • Elementary students then illustrated the story, each illustrating the story created based on the original idea shared.
  • Once completed, high school students then visited the elementary classrooms, partnered with their elementary counterparts, and read aloud the completed stories.

In a similar situation, elementary students composed the story then shared it with high school art students who then illustrated the story. In one 3rd grade classroom, they then proceeded to put each story together in a classroom anthology and ordered professionally printed copies to be shared with parents as well as the high school students.

Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping