Second Grade Nest: Making Biographies Fun (with TWO Freebies)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Making Biographies Fun (with TWO Freebies)


Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom (with 2 fun freebies)- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)
It's never too early to start teaching biographies to students. Many intermediate teachers will teach strong biography units, but integrating them in primary is great, too! I'm gathering up some ideas to make biographies fun in your class! 



1. Start by teaching the genre. 
Always start each genre with an introductory lesson. I suggest a biography anchor chart that you can laminate and keep in your classroom throughout the unit or throughout the entire year. Below, you will see a sample anchor chart for biographies. AND I'm linking the letters and clipart for you for FREE! That way, you can replicate a similar anchor chart for your students.
FREE Biography anchor chart header- Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)



2. Integrate reading into students' independent and partner reading time. 
Utilize all the time you can with biographies. Plug them into daily centers and even book bins for students to read during down time. If you're giving primary students biography books to read independently or with a partner, make sure to give them easy readers. Biographies are tough for students to understand because sometimes they don't have any background knowledge. So, prevent them from having more trouble reading their biographies by giving them easier readers to get through independently. Check out these affiliate links to books I suggest from Amazon.

Here are a few different lines I love.

(Link: Jesse Owens)
(Link: Misty Copeland)

Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom (with 2 fun freebies)- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)    Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom (with 2 fun freebies)- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)
(Link: Barack Obama

Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom (with 2 fun freebies)- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)   Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom (with 2 fun freebies)- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)

(Link: Thomas Edison)
(Link: Rosa Parks)

Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom (with 2 fun freebies)- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)
(Link: 12 Leveled Biography Set)



3. Have a weekly [free] challenge for review. 
I blogged about this fun weekly challenge several months ago. I love it! So, what you'll do is at the beginning of every week, you will give students a social studies or science clue. Throughout the week, as they read passages in folders and books at their reading centers, they will try to find out what the mystery clues are. Check out my examples below. Also, click through to my old blog post to watch my video of me discussing this fun freebie.
FREE Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom (with 2 fun freebies)- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)    FREE Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom (with 2 fun freebies)- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)

FREE- Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom (with 2 fun freebies)- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)
(Link: Mystery Freebie Blog Post)



4. Tie in technology and reading. 
Whenever it comes to science and social studies, Pebble Go and Brain Pop Jr. are necessities for my lessons. If you have been keeping up with my blog, you'll notice I mention these two wonderful websites quite often. Below, I'll show you their biography features! Sign up today to get access to all these videos and online content.
Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom (with 2 fun freebies)- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)
(Source: PebbleGo Biographies)
In the picture above, you can see the categories of biographies! There are a lot to pick from. And within each, there are even more subcategories. Go check them out.

In the picture below you can see how I've selected women (picture of Harriet Tubman), then even more specific Civil Rights Leaders. So this is a selection of all of their biographies on women that were Civil Rights Leaders!
Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom (with 2 fun freebies)- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)
 (Source: PebbleGo Biographies)


Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom (with 2 fun freebies)- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)
 (Source: BrainPop Jr. Biographies)
You can see a selection of Brain Pop Jr.'s biographies in the picture above. And that is just some of them. There are way more! Their biographies come with animated movies, which my kiddos always responded well to. Check out the Amelia Earhart selection below. It shows the video and the follow up activities for her!
Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom (with 2 fun freebies)- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)
 (Source: BrainPop Jr. Biographies)



5. Use readings as homework, so parents can also discuss the importance. 
One option you can do is to send home passages once a week for homework. These passages can be read with parents at home so that parents can discuss with their children their relation or background knowledge of the person. This will help students see that they're learning about these influential people at school and they are known outside of the classroom, too! It's fun for them to see that their parents can tell them about what they're learning during reading and social studies time.

You can choose to have one set passage for the entire class throughout the week, or you can send home a few for parents and children to pick. Then, students can write about the one they picked and what they learned. 
Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom (with 2 fun freebies)- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)
(Resources in Pic: Biography Bundle and Science Bundle)



6.  Let the kids be teachers!
Find clipart online or on TPT of the influential people that you are researching. Split your classroom into that many groups. Give each group of students markers, chart paper, a picture of the person, and a few books on that person. Then, allow them to research that person with their group and create a chart for each person. When they are finished creating their chart, allow them to practice their Speaking and Listening skills by presenting their work to the class.
 
Another idea would be to grab the freebie from #1 and allowing your class to work in groups to present on the genre itself! 
Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom (with 2 fun freebies)- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)



7. Stock up on biographies from TPT!
In my store, you will find over 30 biographies! I have biographies for 30 influential people. In each of these biography sets, you can get a passage, cut and paste timeline, fact writing research page, writing sheet, and a flip book that includes a passage, comprehension questions, true and false sort, and a writing page.  
Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom (with 2 fun freebies)- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)
 (Link: Mother Teresa Biography Pack or Biography Bundle)

Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom (with 2 fun freebies)- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)
 (Link: Henry Ford Biography Pack or Biography Bundle)

Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom (with 2 fun freebies)- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)
 (Link: Susan B. Anthony Biography Pack or Biography Bundle

Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom (with 2 fun freebies)- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)
(Link: Biography Bundle


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Thanks for reading! 
I hope you picked up a few ideas for biographies in your classroom. Here is an image to pin if you want to come back to any ideas later.
Teaching Biographies in a primary classroom (with 2 fun freebies)- lesson and activities ideas for biographies)


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