Saturday, March 16, 2013

Biography Unit

Ignore the boring post title.  I couldn't think of anything creative.

Two Posts. Two Days in a Row! What??? I've enjoyed my lazy Saturday. I slept until 11:30. I still can't believe it.  I never sleep past 8 on the weekends.  That goes to show my full level of exhaustion over the past two months. Then I met my former roomie for lunch. We spent three hours gabbing about teaching.  Sometimes I wonder,  "Do any other professionals spend all of the their free time talking about work?" It's what I love, so that's why I do it!

Anyway, I wanted to share some of the Anchor Charts from our Biography Unit we just finished up in Reading Workshop!  My kids LOVED this unit! They loved learning about famous Americans! It fit perfectly with President's Day, Black History Month, and Women's History Month!

I always like to remind you to not judge my handwriting. :)  Most of my anchor charts are done with my students, so I don't spend the time to make them to pretty!

We started the unit defining biographies and looking at the characteristics of the genre. (Ignore my mispelling of Biographies. There is a little p in there!). For this lesson, I arranged for us to go into the library. We talked about what a biography was and I showed some examples from our class library. Then, we went to the library and all of the students checked out Just-Right Biographies.  Then we filled out the rest of the anchor chart together after they had some time to read!

We also created some timelines! My kids were really into Good ol' George, so we read a Picture Book of George Washington and created a timeline together.

We also spent a lot of time talking about looking at the hardships and difficulties that our subject's faced!

We spent a lot of time talking about character traits at the beginning of the year, but my kids were still using words like kind, good and nice. So we talked about precise vocabulary.  I gave them sticky notes and they came up with some better words to use!

Here a few of some of the other minilessons that I didn't create an anchor chart for:
-Why is our subject so important?
-What can we learn about our subject's time period? 
-What life lessons have we learned from our subject?

Here are some of our favorite read alouds from the unit!

We also spent a few days reading Narrative Nonfiction.  

We did mini-book clubs because I had some short narrative nonfiction books for my kiddos to read! They love their book clubs!

We finished the Unit on Friday and we are moving into Test Prep. I am actually excited to get started with it! I can't wait to share how I'm teaching it this year.  Normally Test Prep is so boring, but I use Lucy Calkin's Format and I love it!! :)  

Yesterday I linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday, I am having a mini giveaway! Be sure to check it out!! :)


  1. We did biographies this week, too, and I used some of the same books. My students were really into it, too! I love that Kate Shelley book. I am going to use your idea for the fill-in-the-blank anchor charts.

    Learning in the Little Apple

  2. I love your anchor charts! I had to chuckle though about your apology for the sloppy handwriting - because I am always worried about that too :)

  3. Love your charts and the book suggestions! I'm a new follower.
    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  4. yes he was a great royal leader....thanks murthy sir for your remark.

  5. Great evaluation, Milo - One day we'll obtain you to Amsterdam where you can see the dwelling for physically. A very sad story, but an important one for people to know. Thanks for reading the amendment and spreading the statement. Now, off to New Hampshire for you! Biography

  6. Hei Gunnar. Hvorfor tar du ikke med heat Islands og Niue, da de begge er "constituent of numerous UN specialized agencies"? Blir ikke det litt på samme måte som Marshall Island, Micronesia og Palau? Altså samme free relationship, bare det er med New Zealand istedenfor USA! Biography

  7. Did you use the Lucy Calkins If Then Biography unit for this?

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  9. And then Washington realized that all the important dates of his hall life are full of sadness. So, he was glad that he's dead. Really, this picture of the list you've made, made me sad too. If not, my life would be as miserable as Washington's list!

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  12. I visit this website more times. Thanks for sharing this article with us. I am very happy to know about biography unit. I waiting for next post.

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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