This is a great project to complement a genre study of biographies, an author study, social studies concepts and more. I’ve recently updated the entire product so that it now includes an option to do the Living Biography Museum where families come into school and the students “perform” in character OR can instead be used simply as an independent research project in class or as a homework assignment.
The twist is that instead of having the students dress in costume (which can be a hassle for the parents since most kids can’t put their own costume together) they make a poster board costume with a space for their head to pop through.
In the past I’ve done the living museum and had students prepare a brief speech to recite in character. This year I opted to send it home as a homework project and will instead take their photos with their poster board and display them with the written report.
This download now includes BOTH the original version and my new and improved updated version as well. If you have high achieving students who need enrichment this is a perfect activity for them to do on their own or you can use it with an entire class. It’s ideal for grades 2-5.
This packet contains everything you need to have your students complete a project of their very own to present in class or at a Living Biography Museum.
THE PROBLEM THIS RESOURCE SOLVES
Are you looking to begin using a biography project? Perhaps you are just looking for something better than you already use. If so, this is the resource you NEED! It is a total game changer!
HOW IT WILL HELP YOUR STUDENTS
- This resource is differentiated so all of your students will feel successful.
- It makes a challenging concept accessible for students.
- It offers opportunities to practice important skills without them even realizing it.
- It facilitates a fun learning experience for students.
- Project-based learning promotes high levels of engagement in students.
HOW IT WILL HELP YOU AS A TEACHER
- This project offers differentiated options.
- It gives you options so you can choose what works best for you and your classroom.
- It is aligned to the Common Core Standards.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE IT
- This is a comprehensive resource so it will lessen the burden of planning.
- It offers hands-on learning experiences so students will be fully engaged in their learning.
- The print and go resources will save you lots of time.
HOW TO USE IT IN YOUR CLASSROOM
You can either do the Living Biography Museum where families come in to school and the students “perform” in character OR it can instead be used simply as an independent research project in class or as a homework assignment.
WHY TEACHERS LIKE YOU LOVE IT
Check out these testimonials from teachers who’ve used it in their classrooms…
This has been the most enjoyed activity in my reading class all year! We are a “Leader in Me” school and the activities of researching a leader who has made the world a better place aligned perfectly with “Leader in Me” and Common Core. My students will long remember this activity!
– S. L. B.
I will never do biographies any other way! So much fun for both the kids and I! After all students have completed their presentations we take a class photo with their posters. One of my favorite activities!
I used this for our Black History Month project/presentation. It was a huge success. Students were excited to present to other classes and hear their classmates present as well. I look forward to using this again!
– Nicole L.
This was the basis for a project that took off in our school! Your product was the catalyst for me changing the way I teach. I know am looking for more meaningful and engaging projects for the students to do throughout the year. Thank you for this product and I am so glad I found it!
– Christa H.
This is great! You have saved me a lot of time. I am using this project for Black History Month, President’s Day, and Women’s History Month. Thank you!
– Tracy L.
You can read more great feedback from teachers just like you here!
WHAT IS INCLUDED
- Grading Rubrics / Criteria Checklist
- Graphic Organizer to Plan Writing
- Graphic Organizer to Record Sources
- Student Writing Pages
- Poster Board Visual Directions
We had so much fun making these bio poster boards.
As a bonus, the kids learned a ton.
I started by having them complete oodles of activities from my biography packet which acquainted them with a whole bunch of famous folks.
Then I had them work in teams to research Benjamin Franklin. They had discussion about why he was famous. They talked about his accomplishments. Finally, they each wrote about him in the 1st person and performed a monologue as if they were Ben.
To make it oh-so-much-more-fun, I gave them each a poster board to use as a “costume.”
I’m now having them each select their own historical figure of choice to repeat the process as an independent project at home.
I seriously loved this project. The kids did too.
They enjoyed walking around wearing their poster boards and singing, “Who flew a kite in a storm and made history…Ben Franklin Square Pants.”
They also enjoyed having “conversations” with each other while wearing the poster board.
Kid 1: Hey Ben
Kid 2: Yo Ben
Kid 1: Ben I really liked how you proved lightning was electricity.
Kid 2: Thanks Ben. You know you’re awesome right? I mean you signed the Declaration of Independence and all,
Kid 1: I know dude, right? I totally rock!
And then there was the boy who did a stellar job with his presentation…and then ended it by yelling, “Thank you Philadelphia. Ben Franklin has left the building.”
Third graders make me laugh.
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASEMY LIVING BIOGRAPHY PROJECT PACKET
We kicked off our biography unit this week.
It’s part of our social studies curriculum and technically it is a study of Massachusetts Biographies, but we began learning about the genre with a mini-study of Martin Luther King Jr.
I read several picture books and the students buddy read a free printable reader from A to Z.
We created a top-down web listing information that we learned about MLK.
Then I read The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown, and the students completed an activity I created for my biography packet that was inspired by the book. They used the same format as Brown’s book to compose their own version, “The important thing about Martin Luther King Jr. is…”
Finally, each of my friends made a portrait of MLK using the directions from TLC. They came out crazy cute. I hung each of them up even though I’ll probably take them down and send them home soon. They were just too adorable not to display.
Today we did another activity (The I Am Poem) from the Biography Packet and a craftivity to go with it. It related so nicely to our autobiography’s and the It’s OK to be Different projects. I really feel like I am able to get to know my students on a completely different level through these projects. They really open up and share such sweet ideas and insight into who they are.
FROM THE ORIGINAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY POST:
You can see my other recent Biography Project:HERE
And can download the kit: HERE
Based on the number of my Emergency Sub Plans that are being downloaded between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. each day lately, I’m inferring that I am not the only one living in “the house of sick.” Between my own annoying illness and kids that keep getting sent home from school with varying symptoms this has been a whirlwind week of treks to the pediatrician, my primary care and sleepless nights.
And let’s not forget that Monday was a National Holiday.
I did manage to make a cameo appearance at school for a couple of days and we were able to complete our “I Am” Biography Projects. Each of my friends will soon be doing this activity using a famous person, but we started with people they knew very well.
We tend to do a lot of “Get to Know You” Activities early in the year. Those are great. But, there is something special about working on autobiography projects once you’ve established a relationship and trust with your students. They really open up to you through their writing and you are able to see them in a different light.
We started by brainstorming ideas using the graphic organizer on the left. The direction was to record anything that popped into their minds. Next, we used highlighters to select one idea from each category to complete the draft page prompts shown in the middle. Finally, I edited with them and they wrote their final copies.
Those were glued onto half-sheets of posterboard. We drew thought bubbles around them and they watercolored a self portrait. Everything is more fun with watercolors.