Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I have a few minutes before we need to take off, and have been thinking about biographies. This is one of my favorite types of books to read so I am always amazed when I read other people's thoughts on this genre and how infrequently they choose to read biographies. At school today we have been finishing up our fifth grade biography unit. Recently I read on Esme's blog about how important it is to expose students to biographies, even reading one a week would expose students to forty new and interesting and important people each school year. The book I used to introduce biography was Wilma Unlimited. This book seems to really keep my students interested and engaged and it has the elements of a biography I am trying to teach them. We also read Phillis's Big Test about poet Phillis Wheatley. The students enjoyed this book, too, even requesting a book of her poetry (which I didn't have in my collection). Not a single student had ever heard of Wheatley prior to my sharing this book, either. Today as the culminating activity we made biography hash. I have found variations of this recipe on the internet, but this snack mix type of recipe allowed students to add an ingredient for each element of biography. Goldfish are added for education, since fish travel in schools. Bugles are added since everyone likes to toot their own horn. Peanuts are added because every family has a couple get the idea. The kids seem to really enjoy this activity and hopefully making some connections between their biographies they have read to themselves and the biography hash they have made to eat.

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