Writing a Biography - Part One

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Grade Level
High School
Length of Time
1 hour

This lesson is in two parts. In this lesson, you will have some discussion questions on what a biography is and how to research for information.


Students will learn:
About biographies
How to research information

Materials Needed

History book
Pencils and Erasers and Pens and Whiteouts
Notebook paper to write down notes in class


First, you will discuss with the students the term: biography and autobiography so students will know the difference.

Here are some discussion questions:

1. What is a biography? - A biography is about someone who accomplished something in history such as a president. Someone else researches the information and writes the biography.

2. What is an autobiography? - An autobiography is what people have written about their lives that they want to share with others.

3. Why are biographies important? - Biographies are important because they inform readers about a famous person and their accomplishments.

4. What kind of information is in a biography? - You need to include the following information in a biography:

Name of the president.

When he was born and died, if he has died.

When he served as president.

How long he served as president.

What he accomplished in his life before and during the time he served as president.

5. Where can you find information about a person? - You can find information about the person through your history books and through the Internet.

6. Do you write your personal opinions in a biography? - A biography is about the person's life and not about your opinions of the person.

Doing Research

You need to explain the steps they need to follow while they are doing their research.

1. First, students need to choose a president they would like to research. Then, they will write down notes on their note cards.

2. When they take notes, they need to be sure to paraphrase what they write down.

3. If they quote something, they need to use quotation marks and state exactly what they read.

4. They also need to make note of the website or book and page number where they gathered their information.

3. After they have gathered their information, they are ready to write their biography.

In the next part, students will start their research and start writing their paper.


You can grade the students on their research efforts and what kind of information they have gathered.

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