Our teachers this quarter will be focused on teaching skills and strategies for nonfiction and informational literacy. One of our big projects is the Biographical Essay Research Project. I did quite a lot of digging to find pre-existing formats that fit what we were looking for, but I couldn't find resources that fit the specific model I had in mind.
The project is for middle schoolers, but it can be tweaked and adapted for other age groups. The objectives of the project are to practice researching with print adn digital resources, summarize and paraphrase information, appropriately use prewriting strategies, and organize and sythesize information into a cohesive multi-paragraph essay with an introduction, body, and conclusion.
Biographical Essay Research Handout
Biographical Essay Outline
Biographical Essay Assignment
Biographical Essay Outline with Sentence Starters
Biographical Essay Grading Rubric
List of Historical Figures
Sample Essay - Time for Kids
The more advanced students will be allowed to use the Biographical Essay Outline to compose their rough draft. They can answer the questions and elaborate as necessary. The Biographical Essay Outline with Sentence Starters provides more scaffolding for students who may be less proficient writers. They can complete the questions from the research they gathered and completed on their graphic organizer handout, and this can serve as their first rough draft.
We are now submitting papers using Google Drive, which is hugely beneficial for writing instruction. Teachers can view the student's essays as they are writing, make comments and suggestions, and access works-in-progress from any supported device.