Often the year starts with students writing to teachers and vice versa so that teachers and students get to know one another. This post is to include some ideas about how and what to write when you introduce yourself. The finished autobiography can be used in the Tagxedo activity in the post below.
For students at my school this is a piece of writing that they will revisit when they write the script for their live radio show on The Berwick Lodge Student Hour, on 97.7FM Casey Radio and your students might find it helpful for other purposes as well.
Write it from 3rd Person Perspective –
Biographies are written as if someone else is telling your story. Paragraph 1 starts with the student’s name, second paragraph starts with he/she and the third paragraph starts with name again.
Make it interesting
Include some of the following (brainstorm with your students) – Interests, passions, hobbies, skills, pets, favourites, clubs, groups, sporting teams that you are part of, great life experiences, awards, family background (if appropriate), and or a funny anecdote if you have one.
The autobiography can be short but a piece of writing with more words will work better in the Tagxedo image if you are going to complete that activity too. I think students should aim for 3 – 5 paragraphs. This is a great opportunity to reinforce the concept that a paragraph has a topic sentence that is followed by supporting sentences.
Be wary of writing an autobiography that is a list. Lists are boring but by adding more information each topic can become a proper insight into the student’s life and personality. Have them tell a story by choosing the most interesting things about their lives rather than tell every little detail.
Protect Your Online Privacy
Don’t include too much personal information i.e. date of birth, street address, private family business, lists of friends – as this is going to be published online.
The following are some resources that could help motivate students with their writing and give them some good ideas.
BioCube – suggested lesson plan is to have one student interview the other to introduce them to the class using the cubes they have made.
Scholastic example and possible starting web
BioPoem this could be a great way to warm up to the more formal writing
I’ve chosen some outcomes for assessment based on Grade 4, 5 &6 that I think are relevant but not exclusive. These are “AusVels” based on the Australian National Curriculum Standards for English in Writing.
- form the possessive by adding just the apostrophe to regular plural nouns ending in ‘s’
- develop agreed criteria for text structure and language features to edit own and others’ work
- plan, draft and publish a range of texts appropriate to purpose and audience, choosing and experimenting with text structures, language features, images or digital resources
- plan, draft and publish a range of imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas
- use of a range of strategies to edit for meaning, for example removing repetition, refining ideas, reordering sentences and adding or substituting words for impact
If you try this with your students please let me know how it goes and what has been most helpful in making this a successful lesson.