Organizing a Biography

From Mechanically Inclined

Jump to: navigation, search

This lesson was originally designed for 4th graders

  • Read Listen to the Wind by Greg Mortenson to the class. (This is a children's version of the adult best-seller 'Three Cups of Tea, telling the story of Nobel Prize nomineee and author Greg Mortenson)
  • Pass out the worksheet page with 18 squares on it. Have students cut out the squares and sort them into 2 piles; Big Ideas and Details. There should be 9 of each, and you have a sheet of them seperated and put in order so you can see the answers.
  • Once the class agrees on what a Big Idea and a Detail is, sort the Big Ideas into a flow map, putting the events in the order that they happened in the story. Then match each detail up with the correct Big Idea. You may want to have students glue their newly created flow map onto a piece of paper.
  • Point out to students that writing needs to be carefully organized (would this story make any sense if we scrambled the order of the events) and it should include the important Big Ideas along with some Details to make it interesting (imagine the story with only Big Ideas, boring. Or with just Details, confusing).
  • Challenge student to write a biography of their own
  • it could be an autobiography
  • they can interview a family member or friend
  • write about someone in your social studies or other subject areas
  • allow students to research famous figures
  • Have student start by coming up with a list of facts and information, looking for Big Ideas and Details, about their subject. Then have them highlight all of the Big Ideas in yellow and all of the Details in Green.
  • They should start a flow map, using their yellow Big Ideas, being sure to put them in the right order.
  • Then students can add in the Details is the apporopriate location.
  • Have the students write their (auto)biography being sure to follow their flow map and maintain a strong Organization.
Personal tools