Thursday, April 25, 2013

Biographies, Biographies, and MORE Biographies

We have spent the past couple of weeks engaged in a HUGE unit on biographies.  
It has been so much fun for my students, and they have learned so much.

Day One: To begin the unit, I read " A Picture Book of Jackie Robinson" by David Adler.  I chose this book due to movie "42" about to come out in theaters, and many of the boys in my class were so anxious to go see this movie.
After reading this story, I used chart paper with " Facts I learned about Jackie Robinson" written across the top.  Students wrote facts they learned about Jackie Robinson on this chart paper.  Then after discussion about all the facts found in this book, I introduced students to "Biographies".  

I shared with students a power point presentation I had made about biographies and more examples of biographies on other famous people.

Days Two and Three:  On these days, I wanted my students to have some time to explore and look at other biographies.  I have my students seated in 4 groups, so I set up 4 biography stations.  In these stations I had many picture book biographies on famous people.  Each station had biographies on different units we have already studied.  One station had many famous African American biographies.  Another station contained biographies on Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and other Presidents.  The third station contained biographies on famous people in sports such as Wilma Rudolph, Lou Gehrig, Satchel Paige, and Jim Thorpe.  The last station I had biographies of famous people during the colonial times such as Betsy Ross, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Samuel Adams.   During this exploration time students were able to spend about 20 minutes at each station.  Each day the students went to two stations.  Students were required to write any facts they discovered about the famous people in each station and what  all of these famous people at this particular station have in common.

Days 5-9: Famous Person Biography Lap book Project
Each student chose a famous person from a list given to them.  Each student would be responsible for researching and finding out information about this famous person which would later be used for their lap book project.  Each student was given a research guide to help them as they found out information on their famous person.  This took us a couple of days.  I was so fortunate to have access to so many IPADS from other classes and the use of our 3 classroom computers.  Students were excited to use this technology for research.

The next 3 days students used the information from their research guide to help them complete their fold-its that would go inside of their famous person lap book projects.  They loved this lap book project!  

The following week I extended the biography unit into interviewing a family member.  Students had to choose one family member to interview. This family member could be a distant relative.  Then students were given a guide to help them create and write 10 questions to ask their relative when interviewing them. I gave the students a couple of days to complete their interviews.  We discussed how the interviews could be done face to face, via e-mail, telephone, or even Skype.

My students put so much thought into their interview questions and in choosing which relative to interview.  This information was going to be used for our "Interview In A Bag" project.

Once students had completed their interview, students had to complete a portrait on their family member and write a biography.  These items would be adhered to the outside of a brown paper bag.  Students also had to select 4 items that best depict their family member.  These would be placed inside of the brown paper bag.   

Finally the last week of our unit was on an autobiography.  Students had the opportunity to write an autobiography about themselves using our project " Me In Pictures".

I had so much fun teaching this unit!  My students really enjoyed the opportunities to research a famous person and interview a family member.
The 3 projects and power point mentioned above can be found in my newest unit " Biography Mega Pack".  If you are interested in finding out more simply click on any of the pictures shown below.

Have a fabulous rest of the week!

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Looks great!