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Biography Day/Wax Museum

During our literature study of biographies, each student in my class got to choose a historical or currently famous person that they could research and read a biography about. I teamed my students up with another teacher's class, and the students wrote "pen pal" letters to each other from their historical person's perspective. There were two letters. The first letter told about their life and accomplishments, and the second letter told about the time period that the person lived in, including technology, clothing, cars, music, etc...I had my students research at home and write the letters in school this year. Last year, I had the entire project done at home. You can do it however you want!

After the two letters have been exchanged, to culminate our unit, we held a Biography Day Celebration! The students got to dress up as their researched person. The first part of this celebration was the autograph book signing party, where students got autographs of the "famous" people in the room (but not until they each told three facts about each other were they able to get a signature!)

The second part of the celebration was where the pen pals got to find each other and do a special interview with them.

Finally, we line the students up and they strike a pose as a "wax statue" as parents walk through our "museum". The parents love it, and so do the kids! However, staying in a pose for 20 minutes is extremely hard on the kids, and practice is needed daily in order to build up to it!

Mind Portraits

This approach is from a book entitled Critical Literacy. It's getting children to think about books and characters from different perspectives. Basically, children take two opposing characters in a fiction book, or two opposing opinions in a non-fiction book and they make the posters you see below. Inside of the heads, are phrases and thoughts of the two contradicting characters or opinions. On the very bottom, they must write the perspective of each character and see how it compares to the other.


 

 

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