Students become biographers writing about a person’s life story. To start, they research a notable figure who has made a difference in the world. Once familiar with events and achievements, students summarize a personal history using heading styles to organize events logically. Contributions are highlighted using a graphic organizer. To help readers connect with the person, artifacts with links to additional information are arranged in a table. Sources of information are cited using a bibliography. Upon completion, the biography is shared with readers. Extension activities for biography lesson plans challenge students to customize page layout or create awards of distinction.
Digital Biography Lesson Plans
Capture the interest of middle school students with an imaginative and unique project to integrate technology and curriculum. Students pick a noteworthy figure, hero, scientist, leader, or artist to write a life story, list achievements, display personal artifacts in a media gallery, and more.
- Teach Advanced Word Processing Skills
Using Google Docs or Microsoft Word, students build a complex document with heading styles, table of contents, graphic organizer, table, illustrations, and links. Optional activities show how to insert a video, customize page layout, bookmark a link, make a bumper sticker, and design a certificate.
- Kickstart Essential Research Strategies
Using a scaffolded model, students discover the difference between primary, secondary, and tertiary sources of information online. They learn reference skills that can be applied in upcoming research assignments: a bibliography is created with citations of the sources used.
- Ready-Made Lesson Plans
Teacher Guide in PDF format lists learning objectives and integration ideas. Assessment tools, checklists and marking sheets, are customizable. Student Workbook develops independent work habits, with step-by-step, illustrated instructions.
View Sample Biography
Assignment 1 What is a Biography?
Examine sample biographies to acquire insight into the role of a biographer.
Assignment 2 Brainstorm a Topic
Generate names of notable people. Select a topic. List inquiry questions.
Assignment 3 Research using Tertiary Sources
Consult an encyclopedia to locate basic facts. Classify information using an organizer.
Assignment 4 Research using Secondary Sources
Gain in-depth knowledge of the person’s life from quality websites. Track information sources.
Assignment 5 Research using Primary Sources
Identify significant artifacts associated with the person such as a speech, diary, or medal.
Assignment 6 Research Checklist
Confirm readiness to write biography by completing a checklist.
Assignment 7 Create a Title Page
Apply word processing skills to design a title page for the biography.
Assignment 8 Set the Document Structure using Styles
Set document structure with heading styles. Customize styles and insert a table of contents.
Assignment 9 Write a Personal History
Synthesize research to summarize the person's early life, family, education, and career.
Assignment 10 Make Graphic Organizer of Contributions
Showcase the importance of the person’s accomplishments using an eye-catching diagram.
Assignment 11 Design a Media Gallery using a Table
Highlight the contributions of a person using artifacts. Link readers to additional information.
Assignment 12 Cite Sources in a Bibliography
Document sources of information in a bibliography. Practical tips help to format the list.
Assignment 13 Biography Checklist
Self-evaluate the biography using a checklist. Revise the content based on the examination.
Assignment 14 Share Your Biography with Readers
Reflect on the learning experience. Respond to questions about the person’s life or legacy.
Optional Biography Lesson Plans for Google Docs/Microsoft Office
- Insert a Video: Embed or link to a clip.
- Customize Page Layout: Adjust margins, insert headers/footers and more.
- Connect to Artifacts using a Bookmark: Insert a link to an artifact.
- Make a Bumper Sticker: Make a saying or quote based on the person's life.
- Create a School Award: Design a certificate of recognition.
Biography Lesson Plans using Google Docs or Microsoft Office
In the TechnoBiography project, students become biographers as they write about a notable person. Students can celebrate a historical figure, acknowledge a hero, investigate scientific discoveries, or appreciate the arts while developing word processing skills. The biography lesson plans integrate into curriculum and can be included in language arts, history, social studies, science, art, or computer studies.
- Conduct research using a variety of sources
- Collect artifacts and interpret their meaning
- Organize notes in a logical order
- Analyze life events to draw conclusions
- Explain the importance of a person
- Cite sources in a bibliography
- Use styles to layout document structure
- Highlight contributions in a graphic organizer
- Connect artifacts with links using a table
- Share biography and reflect on the person's life
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Thanks for creating such a great source for teaching computer application skills. This project, like all of the TechnoKids projects I've used, is creative and engaging. Students of all skill levels find it challenging and interesting, and I appreciate the convenience of the program. What a time saver!
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