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Autobiography Teacher Resources
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Are we really all that different from people in the past? First, learners of all ages write an autobiographical poem. Then, they research the lives of historical figures. They use the same format that they used to write their own poem to create one for a famous person in history. Are we really so different from them?
Seventh graders read "Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank. In groups, they discuss the reasons why people would write an autobiography and identify their own identity crisis. After reading excerpts of other autobiographies, they attempt to write their own and if comfortable share it with the class.
Students are introduced to the characteristics of autobiographies. In groups, they read Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" and develop their own rules for survival in the classroom. They bring in family photos in an attempt to start writing their own autobiography. To end the lesson, they read a poem and use their own experiences to relate to it.
Eighth graders explore the four major components of an autobiography. As they discuss the major characteristics of an autobiography, 8th graders list the advantages and disadvantages of traditional, word of mouth, tales. Individually, students write an outline, then compose a new paragraph for each topic. Papers are then read, edited and revised.
Students complete activities for the autobiography of Maya Angelou. In this autobiography lesson, students write a journal entry about their life and discuss the morphology of the word autobiography. Students use active reading strategies to read Angelou's autobiography and a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar. Students complete a scavenger hunt activity and discuss literary devices in the texts.
Seventh graders mention any recent racism or discrimination they have seen placed on an ethnic group other than their own. After reading an autobiography, they read and write poems based on past events in the Hispanic culture. They are to focus on the situations of the past to keep them from happening in the future.
Students review the purpose of biographies sand autobiographies. In this lesson plan on biographies and autobiographies, students read excepts from Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela and complete a worksheet by listing facts about themselves in preparation for writing an autobiography.