Students read a biography for specific information and wrote what they found on a biography report sheet. The purpose of the lesson was to prepare students to conduct a research project to build their knowledge about a famous person of their choosing. I began the lesson by having students tell their partner what they remembered about biographies. I did this to connect to yesterday’s learning. They were able to tell me biographies give factual information about a person’s life. I displayed a biography report sheet on the document camera and explained each category. I wanted students to be able to cite the title and author of a book, locate basic information about a person’s life, and identify important dates and major accomplishments.
Using the document camera, I modeled reading a biography, underlining the important information, and writing it in the corresponding section of the report sheet. I laid a transparency over the book and used a dry erase marker to underline. This helped students cite information directly from the source and read closely to find the information they were seeking. I also modeled using the table of contents to locate information quickly. For example, many of the biographies were divided into chapters about the person’s early life and accomplishments. As I modeled, students wrote the same information on their report sheet. The report sheet is two sided, but we only worked on side one.
During independent practice, students selected a biography to read and completed their report sheet. They had to pick someone different than the day before because I wanted them to read about as any people as possible before selecting someone to research for the Tea. They worked in pairs for this multifaceted assignment. Their only experience with this genre was the day before, thus they were able to support each other. This assignment required them to look for specific events, locations, dates, use a table of contents, and write a brief description. Many of the informational text reading skills they had learned throughout the year culminated in this activity.
I randomly called on a few students to share what they had learned with the class. They displayed their sheet on the document camera and spoke into the class microphone. I did this so that all students would hear information about a variety of famous people. This would aid them in choosing a notable person to research for the Biography Tea. It also gave them a bit of practice speaking in front of a group as required for the Tea.