Autobiography Project



  Lesson Plan
Title:  Autobiography Project
Subject:  English/Language Arts
Grade Level:  5
This project is a culminating activity for a unit of study on Biographies and Autobiographies.
Approximate Duration:  Three - 50 minute class periods
Content Standards:
  • Standard 1
         Students read, comprehend, and respond to a range of materials, using a variety of strategies for different purposes.
  • Standard 2
         Students write competently for a variety of purposes and audiences.
  • Standard 3
         Students communicate using standard English grammar, usage, sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and handwriting.
  • Standard 4
         Students demonstrate competence in speaking and listening as tools for learning and communicating.
  • Standard 5
         Students locate, select, and synthesize information from a variety of texts, media, references, and technological sources to acquire and communicate knowledge.
  • Standard 6
         Students read, analyze, and respond to literature as a record of life experiences.
  • Standard 7
         Students apply reasoning and problem solving skills to reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and visually representing.
  • ELA-1-M2
         analyzing literary devices (e.g., figurative language, flashback, foreshadowing, dialogue) and story elements (e.g., setting, plot, character, theme, mood) within a selection;
  • ELA-1-M3
         reading, comprehending, and responding to written, spoken, and visual texts in extended passages;
  • ELA-1-M1
         using knowledge of word meaning and developing basic and technical vocabulary using various strategies (e.g., context clues, affixes, etymology, dictionary);
  • ELA-2-M1
         writing a composition that clearly implies a central idea with supporting details in a logical, sequential order;
  • ELA-2-M2
         using language, concepts, and ideas that show an awareness of the intended audience and/or purpose (e.g., classroom, real-life, workplace) in developing complex compositions;
  • ELA-2-M3
         applying the steps of the writing process;
  • ELA-2-M4
         using narration, description, exposition, and persuasion to develop various modes of writing (e.g., notes, stories, poems, letters, essays, logs);
  • ELA-2-M6
         writing as a response to texts and life experiences (e.g., letters, journals, lists).
  • ELA-3-M2
         demonstrating use of punctuation (e.g., comma, apostrophe, colon, semicolon, quotation marks, dashes, parentheses), capitalization, and abbreviations;
  • ELA-3-M3
         demonstrating standard English structure and usage;
  • ELA-3-M5
         spelling accurately using strategies and resources (e.g., glossary, dictionary, thesaurus, spell check) when necessary.
  • ELA-4-M4
         speaking and listening for a variety of audiences (e.g., classroom, real-life, workplace) and purposes (e.g., awareness, concentration, enjoyment, information, problem solving);
  • ELA-6-M2
         identifying, comparing, and responding to a variety of classic and contemporary literature from many genres (e.g., folktales, legends, myths, biography, autobiography, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, novels, drama);
  • ELA-6-M3
         classifying various genres according to their unique characteristics.
  • ELA-7-M1
         using comprehension strategies (e.g., sequencing, predicting, drawing conclusions, comparing and contrasting, making inferences, determining main ideas, summarizing, recognizing literary devices, paraphrasing) in contexts;
  • ELA-7-M3
         analyzing the effects of an author's purpose and point of view;
  • ELA-7-M4
         distinguishing fact from opinion and probability, skimming and scanning for facts, determining cause and effect, inductive and deductive reasoning, generating inquiry, and making connections with real-life situations across texts.
Grade-Level Expectations (GLEs):
  • Writing

    Grade 5

    18. Write multiparagraph compositions on student- or teacher-selected topics organized with the following:


    19. Organize individual paragraphs with topic sentences, relevant elaboration, and concluding sentences


    20. Develop grade-appropriate compositions on student- or teacher-selected topics that include the following:


    21. Develop grade-appropriate compositions applying writing processes such as the following:


    22. Develop grade-appropriate paragraphs and multiparagraph compositions using the various modes (i.e., description, narration, exposition, and persuasion), emphasizing narration and exposition


    23. Use the various modes to write compositions, including:


    25. Write for various purposes, including:


  • Writing/Proofreading

    26. Use standard English punctuation, including:


    27. Capitalize the first and other important words in titles and proper nouns


    28. Write paragraphs and compositions following standard English structure and usage, including:


    30. Spell high-frequency, commonly confused, frequently misspelled words correctly


    31. Incorporate accurate spelling and use a variety of resources (e.g., glossaries, dictionaries, thesauruses, spell check) to find correct spellings


  • Speaking and Listening

    38. Demonstrate active listening strategies (e.g., asking focused questions, responding to questions, making visual contact)


    39. Deliver formal and informal presentations for a variety of purposes, including:


Educational Technology Standards:  
  • Understand and apply common troubleshooting techniques.
  • Demonstrate the operations of a computer (e.g., touch-keyboarding skills, save, organize and back-up files) and other peripheral devices (scanner, digital and video cameras, VCR, laser disc player) at an intermediate level.
  • Compose and edit a multi-page document with appropriate formatting using word-processing skills. (e.g., menu, tool bars, dialog boxes, spell check, thesaurus, page layout, headers and footers, word count, margins, tabs, spacing, columns, page orientation)
  • Use information, media, and technology in a responsible manner which includes following the school's acceptable use policy, adhering to copyright laws, respecting the rights of others, and employing proper etiquette in all forms of communication.
  • Recognize the importance of information technology and its effect on the workplace and society.
  • Use multimedia tools and desktop publishing to develop and present computer-generated projects for directed and independent learning activities.
  • Use technology tools (e.g., multimedia authoring, writing tools, digital cameras, drawing tools, web tools) to gather information for problem solving, communication, collaborative writing and publishing to create products for various audiences.
TLW gather information from background knowledge as well as family members to complete an autobiography.
TLW create either a timeline or trading card that will serve as an autobiography or record of 5 major events that have taken place in their life.
TLW put events in chronological order according to their age at the time of the event.
Lesson Materials and Resources:
memories or family members to gather events
note taking materials
project checklist
Technology Tools and Materials:


Microsoft Word

Timeline Template (see documents)
Trading Card Template (see documents)

Background Information:
Students have completed a study of Biographies and Autobiographies. The students have written a biography of a famous person in writing class. They will know complete a project that will serve as a autobiography.
Lesson Procedures:
1. Introduce students to project: description and directions on using the template.

2. Students brainstorm important events and record the dates of those events. (The students will need to calculate their age at the time of the event.)

3. Students will choose 5 events that they feel are most important.

4. The events must have a date & age of the student at the time of the event. Students must also compose a short description of the event in complete sentences.

5. The events will be put in chronological order.

6. Students will decide whether they are completing a trading card or timeline for their final project.

7. The students will then use the templates created by the teacher to complete their projects.

8. Essays will be written by the students explaining the reasons for choosing these events for their projects. The essay may be completed after, during, or while waiting to complete the timeline or trading card.

9. Before printing and turning in their work students must complete the checklist provided by the teacher to ensure that all criteria has been met.

10. Projects will be displayed for other students to view.
Assessment Procedures:
Prewriting materials and checklist will be turned in. 5 points will be assigned to each to ensure completion.

Rubrics will be used to assess timelines, trading cards, and essays.

          ----- written by Jill Esquivel  

Reproducible Materials:
Explorations and Extensions:
Lesson Development Resources:
Contact Information:
Jill Esquivel
5th Grade Teacher
Additional Contacts:
MarcoPolo Lesson:  No