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Students will become familiar with biographies as a literary genre. They will write about themselves and their experiences. Students will also share facts about themselves with their classmates and feel a sense of pride upon completing their All About Me Poster.
- I use the following biography to teach this lesson:
Let's Read About...Ruby Bridges [shop.scholastic.com] by Ruby Bridges; illustrated by Ying Hu-Hu.
You can choose one of your own favorite biographies to read aloud.
- Chart Paper (3 to 4 sheets)
- Markers for recording student responses
- 2-3 popular children's posters (i.e. Spiderman, Harry Potter, Sports Figures)
- Digital camera for student photos
- Photo paper
All About Me Page [teacher.scholastic.com] (PDF)
- I use this Read All About Me poster for this lesson:
Instant Personal Poster Sets: Read All About Me! [shop.scholastic.com]
If you choose to have the students make their own poster, you will need the following materials for each student: poster board, a star and a heart die cut.
Additional supplies: bold/multicultural color markers, crayons, glue sticks, and construction paper to frame student photo.
- Teacher All About Me poster for modeling purposes
- Colored Sentence Strips
- Laminating machine (optional)
- Explore and identify the components of a biography.
- Complete an All About Me page using components of a biography.
- Create their own interactive All About Me Poster.
- Review and revise their partner's All About Me page.
Step 1: In a whole group setting, introduce a biography of your choice to the students. I like to use Let's Read About...Ruby Bridges [shop.scholastic.com]. Explain to the students that the book is about a young African-American girl who was a young student just like them, with one very important difference. She was not allowed to attend school with white children. Read about half the book so that you can finish it during closure for Day 1.
Step 2: Introduce the term "biography." Write the term on a sentence strip. Guide the students to sound and spell the term through choral response. Share with the students that a biography is the story of someone's life. Ask the students if they are learning about Ruby Bridge's life as you read the story aloud. Write the definition next to the word on the sentence strip. Post the sentence strip for all students to see.
Step 3: Ask the students "Why would someone write a story about themselves?" Generate a brief discussion. Record student responses on chart paper.
Step 4: To close the lesson, finish reading Let's Read About...Ruby Bridges [shop.scholastic.com].
Step 5: In a whole group, share the popular children's posters with the students and ask them to identify the characters or personalities they see. Generate a discussion by asking the following questions:
- Why are these posters so fascinating to look at?
- How did the artist use colors and words and shapes to make them so interesting?
- What kind of posters, if any, do you have in your rooms?
- Why did you choose those posters?"
Share with the students that today they are going to create posters starring themselves that will describe them in words and pictures.
Step 6: Review the term "biography" and its meaning. Refer to the posted sentence strip. In a whole group, call upon several students to retell the story of Ruby Bridges. Remind the students that the story is called a biography because it is a true story about what happened when Ruby Bridges was a young girl.
Step 7: Brainstorm with the students the elements needed for a good biography. Prompt a discussion by asking "What do we need to know about a person to write his/her biography?"
(name, age, address, favorite foods, favorite color, etc.) Record student responses on chart paper.
Step 8: Display the All About Me transparency. Ask: "If someone wanted to write a biography about your life, what would you want them to write?" Show the elements they will fill-in and model how to complete the All About Me page by completing it for yourself or a fictitious character.
Step 9: Explain to the students that today they will be pre-writing their poster by completing the All About Me page. Have students begin the All About Me page. Circulate the classroom and provide assistance when needed.
Step 10: Introduce your completed All About Me poster with the students. Point out how you transferred the information from your All About Me page to the poster. Emphasize the importance of using favorite colors to decorate the poster and how you made it represent you. If the students will be making their own posters, explain the steps to them. Share with them that they will be receiving their own poster to complete after they finish the peer and teacher final review.
Step 11: Provide time for students to complete their All About Me page. Upon completion, instruct the students to review and edit their All About Me page by exchanging them with a partner to ensure that all the necessary information is complete.
Step 12: When each pair has completed the peer review, hold a brief conference with each pair, reviewing their final version of their All About Me pages. If satisfactory, instruct students to begin coloring and recording their information onto their posters. Allow more time if students will be making their own posters from scratch. After the conferences and while students work on their posters, take digital photos of each student holding their favorite item. Print each photo onto photo paper. You may want to frame each photo with construction paper and glue it to the poster in the space provided.
Step 13: Once students have completed their posters, you may want to laminate them for durability. They are now ready for the culminating activity described on the Unit Page. Afterwards, post them in the classroom, the hallway, the school office, and/or the cafeteria. Students will enjoy taking their posters home to display in their own rooms!
This lesson would be an excellent pre-writing activity for crafting autobiographies or biographies of their friends.
Teacher Observation: Observe how the students understood the meaning of a biography. During teacher final review of the All About Me page, check to see that each response is appropriate. Check to see that each student correctly transferred their information from their All About Me page to the poster.