Teaching through biographies

“Who can dispute the value of a good story? Though students may initially view them as dull, biographies are the stuff that great classroom activities are made of—history, honesty, and heroism.” – Education World

As teachers, we are always looking for ways to connect students to the notable people in our content areas: Sir Isaac Newton, Edgar Allen Poe, Vincent Van Gogh, Thomas Jefferson, etc. But how do we engage students in meaningful ways to discover the real story behind a person?

In their article, “Building on Biographies: Bringing Real-Life Stories Into Your Curriculum!,” Education World highlights these creative ways to teach biographies:

  • Make biography boxes
  • Build a biography
  • Write people poems
  • Create a birth date biography
  • Imagine a celebrity guest
  • Identify people of the century
  • Choose the greatest American
  • Work on Biography.kids
  • Biography study guides

In addition, Education World curated a list of online biographical resources called “Great Sites for Teaching About Biographies.”

The Information and Learning Center also subscribes to six databases (listed below) that offer rich, biographical content and can be accessed from the ACHS and Lakes ILC home pages. For three of the databases, we have research LibGuides created. These LibGuides offer videos, search tips, and remote access instructions that you can share with your students. Kellie and I are hard at work to finish creating LibGuides for all of our database offerings.

As you work to incorporate these resources into your assignments, don’t forget that Kellie and I are always willing to help!


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