Who Was…? A Biography Project

Happy Monday!! It has been a productive one around here Smile  As I write these words, I also realize some of the events of today.  I was very excited to be off today and have the morning to myself to complete at least ONE new product.  The way I work tends to be 20 things going at the same time.  (Anybody with me?)  However, I really needed the feeling of accomplishing SOMETHING! As teachers, I think we have high ambitions for our breaks from school.  I know I do!  So, I woke up early, started the coffee, and got my Netflix going for some background noise while I worked.  It never really feels like work when you’re “watching TV.”

Well, Titan wasn’t having it.  After about an hour of working, Titan knocked over a water bottle and it landed on my laptop.  It’s hard to be mad at him when I did leave the cap off…

So, that computer is being drained for the next few days after I did some high quality research on you tube and google.  (If you have any other suggestions, please let me know!)  I then began working on my personal laptop to finish the following project.  Then, I did some yoga in our living room.  I wish I had a video camera set up to record how that went with Titan in the house! He thought it was playtime! Smile

Without further ado, I am going to tell you about my latest project.  This is my very first blog post about a product I have on Teachers Pay Teachers, so here goes!!! Smile

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This product came as a result of my 3rd grade students last year (2013).  In our district, we have an additional 30 minutes for Reading Intervention outside of the regular 90-120 minute block.  During this time, students are either pulled out if they are ESE/ESOL or they work in a small group with me.  What to do about those other students?  We have computers and I rotate students through those as well as rotations through a group with me.  However, I wanted something more engaging than simply reading independently.  I love to read and they do too (it is a requirement in my class that you love to read Winking smile

I had a handful of higher level boys who seemed to really enjoy the Who Was.. ? series.  It was adorable how excited they got to learn about different people! Seriously, I had to special order Who Were the Beatles?

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After seeking out multiple copies from my beloved teacher friends, I partnered students up with the books and gave them this sheet to keep track of what they learned. I started a small Biography Unit (which is another incomplete project)  and after reading a couple of these books. (2 hours each-easy reads for adults) I noticed a pattern with these books.  I used the pattern of the books to create questions which would keep my kids focused on events, the characters/subjects, and why this person was important-what they learned.  This was the end result.  I have tweaked it since I used it, but the questions are still the same.

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Students completed this sheet as they read.  I explained to them what they were to do.  1) Read the book 2) As they read, look for the answers to these questions 3)  Write an essay telling all about this person, using the graphic organizer as a guide to their writing  4)  Create a poster about their person

This was really all the guidance I gave my students last year.  I wanted to learn from them and see what they would do.  Students are OUR greatest teachers.  They did amazing.  When we did these projects toward the end of the year, we had already worked on Informational Essays.  So, it was nice to see them use some of these strategies.  As for the posters-some were better than others, but they all put forth tremendous effortSmile  What amazed me the most was the enthusiasm and engagement.  If you look at the first student’s poster with his essay attached, this was a child that had already been retained twice,  had MANY home issues, and way too many absences.  He took this project to heart and worked harder on this than anything I had seen all year.  Melted. My. Heart.

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I wanted to use these again this year, so I updated the format and added a template because my students needed a little more guidance.  Also, it would be nice to have a smaller version of these so they could do these more often with different people.  This is the poster template included in the product.

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And because it is a Writing Project I included some publishing paper.  Two versions because I couldn’t decide!!!

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If you like this writing paper, you should check out my Planned, Polished, & Published Writing Paper Pack here.

So there it is, folks!  My first attempt at a Product Post! Lol! Smile I hope you are having a fabulous Monday night.  If you are a teacher, I am sure you are because you do not have to teach in the morning! Cheers to vacation!

Thanks for stopping by!

Jessica

 

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