How to write a biography lesson for elementary school

Written by jennifer zimmerman Google
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How to write a biography lesson for elementary school
Writing lesson plans is an important part of teaching. (Dynamic Graphics Group/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images)

While writing a biography lesson for elementary school students, teachers need to be familiar with both the district's standards and with biographies written for elementary students. Elementary school students love learning about real people and actual events, so biographies are an excellent genre for them.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • District standards
  • Lesson plan template
  • Biography books

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  1. 1

    Reread your district's language arts standards and the national language arts standards so that you know what elementary students should be learning.

  2. 2

    Pick a standard that you want your lesson to address. Biography lessons work for standards about reading and understanding a wide variety of literature, learning new information, communicating through written or spoken language, and gathering and synthesising information.

  3. 3

    Find a template. Your district may already have a lesson plan template that you must use. If not, choose a template (see resources) to help guide you through the lesson. The template should have a place to introduce the topic, a place for learning activities and a way to assess the topic.

  4. 4

    Plan the introduction. Some ways to introduce the topic include reading a biography to the elementary students (see resources for book ideas) or visiting biography websites (see resources) together. Teachers can also share their own biography or version of the day's learning activity.

  5. 5

    Select the learning activity. Students can read a biography independently and answer questions, write and perform a monologue about a chosen famous person, write bio-poems (poems that follow a format that uses the person's name and facts about them, see references for examples), create biographical timelines for themselves or a famous person and create a list of characteristics of a biography.

  6. 6

    Create an assessment. Teachers can choose to have an informal assessment through a class discussion and write down questions to ask the class or to formally assess written or performed work.

  7. 7

    Make a rubric. A rubric is a way of scoring student work according to a list of criteria. Your district may have one that you can use, or you can create your own for the particular learning activity (see resources).

Tips and warnings

  • If you are new to writing lesson plans, share your lesson with a friend or colleague before implementing it. That person may have suggestions on how to improve it or have questions that will help you clarify your thinking.
  • Give yourself extra time. Often new lessons take longer than teachers expect they will, so leave extra time as you make your schedule for the week or plan to stretch the lesson into two days.

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