Writing a Biography Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has an Masters of Science in Mathematics and a Masters in Education

This lesson plan can be used to teach your students how to write a biography. Students start off watching a video lesson that steps them through the process, then write in cooperative groups before practicing independently.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'biography'
  • describe the steps used to write a biography
  • write a biography


1 hour for the lesson plus several class periods for the writing process

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2.a

Introduce a topic clearly and group related information in paragraphs and sections; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2.b

Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2.c

Link ideas within categories of information using words and phrases (e.g., another, for example, also, because).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2.d

Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2.e

Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.


Key Vocabulary

  • Biography
  • Autobiography
  • Topic sentence
  • Introduction
  • Rhetorical question

Warm-Up and Preparation

  • Ask students to think about someone they really like and admire, like a sports star, musician, friend, etc.
  • Give students time to brainstorm a few names, then divide them into small groups and have them share their ideas.
  • Now share ideas as a whole group and discuss:
    • What kinds of things do you know about this person?
    • Why do you like and admire them?
  • Ask students to choose one person on whom to focus, then think of and record a few things they'd like to learn about them.
  • Set work aside for later.

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