An autobiography is a book written by an author about himself. Children will typically learn about autobiographies in school when they are learning about different types of books. One way to further a child's knowledge of autobiographies is to have him read a few and then write one about himself. This activity is both educational and fun.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Pen or pencil
- Family photo albums
- Blank book
Have your child take out some family photo albums that begin with the day she was born. Look through these together so that you can reminisce about what was going on during that time. Your child may come up with some funny stories for her autobiography.
Instruct your child to take notes for his autobiography. Explain that he can do this by writing down the thoughts he gathered while looking through the photo albums. After that, have him think about some events that happened recently and add them to the notebook. This could be winning first place in the fifth grade spelling bee or learning to bake his first cake.
Tell your child to interview family members and friends to find out what they perceive to be her special qualities. They may have some stories to share that she may have forgotten all about. Have her place these notes in the notebook.
Show your child that he must organise the information he has gathered, beginning with his birth until the present time. This way he can write about his life in a chronological fashion.
Instruct her to decide which stories from her life she wants to include in her autobiography. She will not need to use all of the information she gathered. Then have her write a rough draft. Her rough draft should have one paragraph for each event that she wants to include in her autobiography. Remind her that while writing, she should consider what she was feeling, seeing, smelling or hearing during the event.
Tell the child to review his rough draft looking for grammatical errors. Make sure he wrote the story in the first person, and used a dictionary to check any words that he thinks might be spelt wrong. Have him see if there are any descriptive words that he can add to make the autobiography more colourful.
Finish by having her write her final draft of the autobiography. She can do this by using a blank book and filling in the pages, or by making her own book out of construction paper and writing paper. Just take one piece of construction paper for the front and back covers. Then insert enough pages to tell the story. Staple the left-hand corner so that all of the pages stay inside of the construction paper. Tell her to use a marker to write a title on the front. It should read something like, "The Life of Jane Doe."
Tips and warnings
- If the children are older than fourth grade, you may want them to include a dedication page.
- Have the students draw a picture of themselves on the cover. They may also want to draw pictures on some of the pages in their book.
- Ask the students to share their autobiography with other students by giving an oral report.
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