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5th-Grade Lesson Plans


Lesson Title: Who Is It? Learning about Biography
Created and Submitted by: Ofilia Kirby
School Name: Newman Elementary School
District: United Independent School District
Role: School Librarian


Grade Level: 5th Grade


Lesson Plan Objectives:
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
1.  Understand the meaning of a biography.
2.  Use relevant questions as a basis for inquiry/research.
3.  Make notes on a graphic organizer.
4.  Organize and evaluate notes to create a biography.


110.16. (7) Reading/Comprehension of Literary Text/ Literary nonfiction.  Students understand, make inferences and draw conclusions about the varied structural patterns and features of literary nonfiction and provide evidence from text to support their understanding.  Students are expected to identify the literary language and devices used in biographies and autobiographies, including how authors present major events in a person’s life.


Other Content Area Addressed:
Technology (for the Extension)


Standards for the 21st-Century Learner Indicators:
1.4.3  Monitor gathered information, and assess for gaps or weaknesses.
2.1.2  Organize knowledge so that it is useful.
2.1.6  Use the writing process, media and visual literacy, and technology skills to create products that express new understandings.


Classroom Teacher – School Librarian Collaboration:

• The classroom teacher and school librarian decide on a biography (picture book) of a famous person.
• Educators select Web-based resources.
• Educators design the assessment tools together.
• The school librarian reads the picture book to the class, as she and the classroom teacher model the questions and respective answers from the book, using the projector.
• Educators model recording the answers on the graphic organizer.
• The classroom teacher models how to create a biography report from the questions and answers in the Concept Map.
• Both educators monitor the students’ guided practice and assess student outcomes by checking their Concept Maps and biography reports.

Measurable Outcome or Final Product: Students complete the questions and answers on the Concept Map and create a biography report.


Assessment Tools: Concept Map (Teacher Vision) and Biography Rubric



Biography Definition: http://www.42explore2.com/biographies.htm

The Biography Maker: http://www.fno.org/bio/QUEST.HTM

Graphic Organizer: http://www.teachervision.com/graphic-organizers/printable/6298.html

Looking at Lincoln by Maria Kalman (Penguin Group 2012)

Extension possibilities: http://www.tagxedo.com (Students can create biography word clouds.)


Estimated Lesson Time: 2-day Lesson: 1st day to read the biography and create the Concept Map and the 2nd day to create the biography report


Instructional Plan Outline:


• The classroom teacher and school librarian divide the class into partners.
• The classroom teacher and school librarian distribute the Concept Map, one to each student.


1. The classroom teacher and school librarian post and review the lesson objectives.
2. The classroom teacher plays a game with the students, giving hints about a famous person, and students have to guess who it is.
3. The school librarian plays the same game, using a different famous person, and having students guess who it is.
4. The classroom teacher explains how, in order to know who someone is, we need to ask questions (inquire/research).
5. The classroom teacher and the school librarian present the definition of a biography, using the website:  http://www.42explore2.com/biographies.htm.
6. The classroom teacher and the school librarian show parts of the website:  http://www.fno.org/bio/QUEST.HTM (The Biography Maker) for further information, specifically PART 1: Questioning – Step One, PART 3:  Synthesis, and PART 4: Story-telling.


7. The school librarian introduces the book Looking at Lincoln, a biography written by Maria Kalman.
8. The school librarian emphasizes the 6 main questions in the book:  Who was he? When and where was he born? What did he think about? What did he love? What did he hate? How will he be remembered?
9. The classroom teacher adds these questions to the graphic organizer.
10. The classroom teacher projects the concept map and models by asking the graphic organizer questions to the school librarian, and recording the answers on the graphic organizer.
11. The school librarian models by asking two or three questions the graphic organizer questions to the classroom teacher and recording the answers on the Concept Map, using a projector.
12. Using the projector, the classroom teacher demonstrates how to use the answers in the Concept Map to create a biography.
13. Both educators review, with students, how each person in their team will ask one another the questions on the Concept Map.

Guided Practice
14. The classroom teacher and school librarian move around the room, monitoring and listening for understanding, and making sure students are recording the answers in the Concept Map.


Day Two


Guided Practice
15. Once everyone has interviewed one another, and all answers have been recorded, the educators guide the students in creating their classmates’ biographies from their Concept Map.


16. The classroom teacher and school librarian ask students, “What is a biography?” and “What do you need in order to gather information on a person?”—ask questions.
17. Students share responses orally.


18.  The classroom teacher and school librarian review and assess the students’ Concept Map and biography reports using the Biography Rubric.


19.  Students can create biographical word clouds using the website:  http://www.tagxedo.com by choosing and prioritizing the main words that describe the person in their biography report, and using those words to create the cloud. They choose an appropriate shape to represent the person as well.


Lesson Resources


Biography Rubric (.docx)


ELAR_5_7_Kirby_TEKS_Alignment_Lesson Plan



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