I'd like to have my students read a biography and write a report. The last time I taught fourth grade (seven years ago), I simply said read the book and do a report. I'd like to spice it up with an additional activity related to their famous person. Does anyone have any ideas, advice or support? Thanks.
A project i did a few years ago was to have the kids make a biography box. it was a lot of prep, as we had a template(6 faces with tabs for taping together) for it that an aide would cut out for us (no more aides, so no more project ;(). The boxes were 6 inches square, and each side had an assignment:
1. Title, author, small picture relating to topic
2. Early Life
3. What they are known for
4. Problems or challenges they faced
5. ? i can't remember this side!!
6. Full size drawing of person with birth-death dates
Once students assembled the boxes, they would place an item inside that represents that person (baseball, airplane, etc) It was a great project, and looked great at open house!
Have the kids write an I am poem or bio-poem as if they were the person they're researching. Having them think about the person's fears, hopes, and dreams really gets them to synthesize what they learned.
is our May book report project. My students read the book, fill out a research form about their person, complete a written report and then dress up as their person and talk to the class in character. It's a lot of fun and they look forward to it every year.
I am going to be new to fourth grade next year and have talked with our current fourth grade teachers. One idea that they gave me was for the students to write a biography about a classmate. They drew names and then had a list of questions to ask their person. Then they wrote a biography from that.
I love your idea!! I understand it was a lot of prep. However , it sounds awesome. Do have a copy of the instructions that you could post?? What kind of paper did you use to cut the squares? tagboard, cardstock, copy paper???
the students created a timeline about the person they read about. They used the big rolls of paper that we teachers use for BB. We gave each student five feet of this paper to take home. They were to divide the paper hot dog style. The timeline went right down that fold. The top half was about their person and needed to include at least 10 important facts from their life, starting with their birth and ending with their death. The bottom portion needed to include 10 world events or US events, so we knew what was happening during their lifetime. I can't remember how many pictures we required. I think five. On the day the project was due the student dressed as their famous person and told about the major events in their life while their timeline was displayed on the chalkboard for classmates to view. Then we displayed the projects in the hallway. We created a scavenger hunt for the students to complete to get them to read about these exciting persons from the past.
I've done a bio poem, a timeline and a wax museum (where they dress up as the person). The kids love all the activities but the wax museum was a real hit. It requires the most work but the students really enjoyed it!
We do a 4th grade biography wax museum that incorporates several of the previous posters' ideas. Students read a biography of their chosen person, write a report about them, draw a portrait, write a poem in the style of Margaret Wise Brown's "The Important Book", and create a timeline on a sentence strip. The report, portrait, timeline, and poem are all mounted on poster board, along with a button made from a water bottle cap that the kids have painted and glittered up.
On the day of the wax museum, students dress as their character, along with props. We arrange all three 4th grades in chronological order around the gym. The rest of the school visits, and when someone presses the button on the poster, the student comes to life with about a 1 minute speech highlighting the major accomplishments of their life. As someone else said, we don't allow students to choose current pop stars or athletes. The person must have made some contribution to history. The wax museum is repeated that evening for parents.
We will begin this year as soon as we come back from vacation in a week with students browsing my biography collection, and then choosing their person. We do some of the work at school, and some as homework.
Last year was my first year in 4th grade, and this was one of the highlights of the year, along with our pocket person project, which was a smaller biography project that was about famous people from our state. We held our wax museum during the last full week of school. It was a huge success!