Lesson Plan

Biographies Alive

Student created biographies come alive with the use of technology!
Kristin L.
Technology coordinator
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to...

  • conduct research on a famous person (past or present) both through text and online
  • learn about key events/facts in the famous persons' life
  • express their knowledge through words, pictures and orally
English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 2
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Conversing

Ask students to think about some interesting famous people.  Talk about what makes a person famous and why someone might want to write about these types of people.  Discuss the differences between an autobiography and biography.  Have a variety of books available in the classroom or library for students to browse through so they can choose their subject.

2 Direct Instruction

Assist students with finding appropriate materials to use for research along with the attached question sheet/worksheet to aid the research process.

The Symbaloo is something that I created to assist our 2nd graders with the biography project and contains several resources for each of the people listed.  I recommend creating a similar resource for students or using what I have provided as most of the information is at their level.

The library is a great place for more resources and students should be using a combination of print and digital sources.



3 Guided Practice

Students have gathered information and can work from their worksheet to create their book.

Using iPads and the Book Creator app (there is a paid and a free version; the free version only allows for the creation of 1 book!), guide students through creating their own biographies of their famous person.

Each page of the book should follow the guided questions/worksheet provided in the direct instructions.  Additional pages can be added as students need.  Great for differentiation and challenging your high level students but also making it easier for those that struggle.

Students should use pictures from the internet and can supplement their biographies with hand-drawn illustrations.

Once students have completed the writing and illustration portion of their biographies on Book Creator have students go back and use the recording function in Book Creator to record themselves reading the pages, one by one, so that the biography serves as both a visual book and an audio book.

4 Independent Practice

Students work independently on creating their biographies as described in the Guided Practice above.  

Students can work collectively as well, to assist with the audio recording of their work.

When students have completed their biographies they should upload their work to their GoogleDrive accounts (this can be done directly through BookCreator) and share their work with the teacher.


Examples of finished books:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByHNHpFAyIOoSWlvRjlDR3hiN1E/view?usp=sharing

5 Wrap Up

Students have shared their work with the teacher.  To create final projects for all members of the school to see - and to supplement the publishing process:

1.  Change sharing permissions on students work to "share with anyone who has the link".

2.  Copy link and generate a QR code for the link using the QR Code Generator from Google (google app).

3.  Print out QR code (I recommend using pencil and noting student name/biography name on back!)

4.  Print out a picture of the famous person and pair the picture with the appropriate QR code 

5.  Display QR codes with pictures (created in #4) for other classrooms to explore

6.  Others will view work by means of an iPad and using the iPad app i-nigma (a QR code reader)