In TechnoBiography, the newest technology project introduced by TechnoKids Inc., students select a notable person and learn how to write a biography. They are guided through the research process, learn how to write a personal history using headings, create a graphic organizer highlighting contributions, and showcase online artifacts related to the person.
But why is reading or writing about a famous or remarkable figure valuable?
1. A Biography Integrates Curriculum and Technology
An indepth investigation into a remarkable person can fit into almost all curriculum areas: language arts, history, social studies, science, art, or computer studies. Here are some ideas:
- Write a Life Story: Practice expository writing. Write an engaging life story that offers insight into a person. Captivate reader’s attention.
- Celebrate a Historical Figure: Develop a deeper understanding of a historical period. Research the contributions of a historical figure. Explain their importance to the past and influence on future events.
- Acknowledge a Hero: Inspire others with the accomplishments of personal hero, role model, mentor, or newsmaker. Detail their successes and challenges. Outline reasons their efforts are admirable.
- Investigate Scientific Contributions: Appreciate amazing research findings and inventions. Outline the path to discovery of a scientist. Explain how their work has improved the lives of others.
- Appreciate the Arts: Learn about an art period or artistic style by studying a famous artist. Examine their artwork. Describe its meaning and how it influenced other artists.
- Develop Word Processing Skills: Introduce advanced word processing skills in a computer studies course. Learn to customize styles, insert a table of contents, draw a graphic organizer, organize data using tables, adjust page layout, and add bookmarks.
2. A Biography Provides Inspiration
Reading about the real life story of a successful or remarkable person often influences, motivates, or provides encouragement. As students learn about the challenges that others have overcome, they can make connections to their own lives. They may recognize the hardships that a historical or contemporary figure has faced and relate them to their own struggles. The insight gained in studying a biography can include an affective, emotional component beyond curriculum objectives.
3. A Biography Teaches Life Lessons
Even though the practical skills learned in school – how to solve complex math problems, how to write an essay, or maybe even how to program a computer – are important skills for career, there are other critical lessons students need. Learning about the life story of a successful person can teach essential life skills, such as:
- persevere to achieve goals
- maintain a fair perspective and recognize other viewpoints
- listen to learn from others
- learn to be independent without relying on the opinion of peers
- take personal responsibility and accountability for your choices and actions
- develop a love of learning
- deal with failure
- be kind, helpful, and considerate of others
Learning from the real experience of others is a great tool to help young people grow into successful, contributing members of society.