Related ELA Standard: W.6.10
Biographies are detailed written accounts of people's lives. It often will follow in chronological order with the primary goal of showing how the person's upbringing and choices lead to their own personal outcome. Biographies can also be written by the person that is the subject of the writing this is called an autobiography. You don't need to be revolutionary to have a biography written about you, you just need to have a good story. These worksheets will help students explore many different things that a biography touches on.
Write a Bio Poem –
A short poem that describes a person or thing is called a biography (bio) poem. The form of bio poems can vary, but below is a typical example.
Writing a Biography –
Select a person that has accomplished something notable that
interests you and whom you would like to learn more about. Do research and
reflect to answer the following questions about your subject. Then write a short
review of the life of a person.
Bio Part 2 –
This sheet is continued from the previous worksheet.
Elements Checklist –
A biography has the following components, and is typically written in chronological order. What you will be writing should contain all of the following kinds of information and meet all the criteria outlined below.
Character Traits –
Thinking about the biography you just read, choose
two character traits that best describe the person you have been
The Bio Poem –
In the space below, try writing a bio poem about a historical figure you have
studied recently. Follow the format.
Writing a Eulogy –
A Eulogy is a speech that is typically given at a funeral or a
memorial service that commemorates the life of a person who has died.
Students should use bookmark to take notes of key information as they read the biography.
Chart What You Learned –
Summarize what you learned from the biography you just read to complete the chart below.
Cereal Box Project –
Imagine that you have been hired to create a cereal box design
commemorating a famous historical figure. Your job has the
following milestones. Check off each milestone as you complete it.
Famous People –
Think of a famous person that interests you.
Answer the questions below about the person. Then begin to compose a story based on that life.
Famous Continued –
How did the person feel about the world and their life as a child?
As an adult? In their later years?
Even More Famous –
What was the first or the defining event or achievement that
made this person famous?
Bio Brainstorm –
Complete the organizer below in preparation for writing a short biography.
In preparation for writing a biography, complete
the timeline of important events in the life of your
Summing Up a Life –
The titles of biographies are very carefully selected to convey a sense of the subject’s life. Sometimes the title is
taken from something the subject said.
What Are Biographies?
A biography is an important component of English literature. It is simply the life of a person that is written by another person or writer. There is a special name for the author of a biography. He or she is called a biographer. On the other hand, the person whose life is being narrated in the work is known as the biographee or subject.
A biography is usually written in a narrative form. It proceeds in chronological order. All the events and aspects of the person's life are represented to the reader. Cynthia Ozick is an amazing author of America. She believes that a good biography is like a novel for the readers. It should represent the stages of a person's life in a triumphal or tragic way. It should be with the birth of the subject and then move towards his or her mid-life. If the subject is no more, then the story should end at the death of the protagonist.
Writing A Biography
Many writers try their hand at writing one. If you want to write a piece such as this, it is essential that you conduct proper research on the subject's life. You can find the newspaper clippings, academic publications, and other such resources to get accurate facts. Misrepresenting the subject is one of the major issues that writers make when composing such works. It is important to stay completely unbiased while writing, other wise the work suffers. The key is to be objective in presenting the details of a person's life.
This is the reason why many people prefer reading biographies rather than autobiographies. Autobiography is written by the subject himself. Therefore, there are huge chances of bias and misrepresentation in autobiographies. It is also easier to write a biography than an autobiography. Because you can view things much more objectively since you are not at the center of it.
Knowing what to cover is always the toughest thing. People (your audience) are expecting much more of narrative than they could read then by just Googling the person’s name. The best way to discover this is to do background interviews, not only with the subject but also the people that knew him best. It is often helpful to look for people that adored the subject and those that may have not taken a liking to them. This way you can project a much more balanced story. Most of these works start off with basic facts such as where they were born and where they grew up. I find that understanding the family dynamic that they had when growing up is often key to understanding how someone turned out. Some subjects will be very forthcoming with that and others will shy away. If you have the opportunity to interview their parents or old family friends, that can often be key to telling a good story and finding reasons for motivation throughout their life.