In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about reading biographies and biography writing. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Biography topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching Biography Writing
Biography of a Classmate
Have students choose a classmate to write a biography about. Encourage them to choose a classmate they do not know very well in order to develop new friendships or gain a better understanding of one another. Discuss the writing process together and have students interview their subjects to gather information. They may also wish to interview the subject’s family members or friends for research. Subjects may also wish to supply writers with photographs, artwork, or other materials to help writers with their biographies.
Sketch of a Community Helper
Discuss different community helpers together, such as police officers, fire fighters, park rangers, doctors, nurses, and government leaders. Have your students choose a community helper to be a subject of a biography. You may wish to brainstorm different questions for students to ask their subjects. Then have students draw a sketch or illustrate a picture of their community helper. They can write their final drafts on the back of their sketches and share them with the class.
Explain to your children that a documentary is a film about real people or events. You may wish to screen a documentary as an example. Then, if possible, have your students create a documentary film about a person. Choose a subject together, such as a school, community, or government leader. Come up with questions to ask and have students collaborate as they conduct research about the subject. Small groups can take turns filming the person, while others can interview the person or narrate. Help students edit the film together to create a biopic!
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching Biography Writing
Have your child choose a relative for a subject of a biography. They can choose a relative from history or one who is alive today. Your child may want to choose an older relative and interview them to learn more about his or her history. Help your child through the writing process. Your child can continuously update the biography with major events that occur in the subject’s life. Your child may also want to write biographies on other family members and put them in a collection to create a family biography.
Biography Without Words
Challenge your child to create a biography of someone without using words. He or she may want to pantomime major events that happened in the subject’s life or draw pictures, paintings, or a comic to chronicle a person’s life. Encourage your child to be creative!