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My Life Story
Students will be able to distinguish between biographies and autobiographies. They will also be able to write their own biographies and autobiographies.
- Introduce the term "biography." Ask the students what they think that word means.
- Ask the students what is usually included in a biography. Tell students that a biography is often found on the flap of a book or at the very end of the book.
- Have students each sit with a partner. Have each partner tell the other as much about herself as possible in one minute, then switch.
- Encourage students to begin with when and where they were born.
- Ask the students if the stories they shared are fiction or non-fiction.
- Ask: What makes these stories interesting?
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Have each student spend a minute or two telling her partner as many facts as she can remember about her partner's life.
- Ask the students: Was it easier to talk your partner's life story or your own? Why?
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- On the board, write "auto-bio-graphy."
- Explain that auto means "self," bio means "life," and graphy means "writing." An autobiography is a piece of writing about one's own life. When a story is about someone else's life, the "auto" is taken out and it's called a biography.
Independent working time(20 minutes)
- Tell students that their goals for the following activity are: 1) to write a biography or autobiography, 2) to tell at least five facts about the subject's life, and 3) to write in proper sequence.
- Have students take out writing materials.
- Have them work for 20 minutes to create a biography or autobiography about their partner's or their own lives.
- Enrichment: Have advanced students write both a biography and autobiography during Independent Working Time.
- Support: Struggling students can be shown the online biographies and autobiographies in advance and be allowed to use them for reference.
- As students work, walk around and assess their understanding based on whether they're reaching the activity goals.
- Once they're done writing, have students share their biographies or autobiographies with the rest of the class.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Review the idea of biographies and autobiographies with the students. Ask them who they would like to read biographies about.
- Present your slideshow and show students some of the different biographies and autobiographies you chose.