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Introduce: Biography

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Lesson Type: Introduce
Grade: K, 1, 2, 3
Group Size: Small Group, Large Group, Whole Class
Length: 20 minutes
Goal: Given a list of statements, students will be able to determine whether each statement is a fact or an opinion; in addition, students will understand the purpose of a biography and recognize its elements.

Materials: Board or chart paper

What to Do


Copy some examples of facts and opinions onto the board or chart paper.

(Spinach is green. Spinach is disgusting. Dogs are the best pet. Dogs have four legs. Baseball is really exciting. To play baseball, you need a bat and a ball.)


1. Explain the lesson.

Today we will learn about biographies.

2. Explain the elements of a biography.

A biography is a book that is written about a famous person’s life. A biography includes important facts such as a person’s childhood and family life, what they did for a living, their accomplishments or why they are famous, and other interesting facts. Often the writer will tell you why they chose to write about this person.


3. Explain the kinds of questions that a writer asks when writing a biography.

Writers ask many questions about the person and then they do research to find out the facts. They might ask where and when the person was born, and what their family life was like growing up.

Ask students to provide facts about when and where they were born and give some details about their own family lives.

Next they might ask what the person did for a living or what kind of work they did.

Ask students to provide names of famous people that they know and what they do for a living.

Writers also ask about why the person is famous. What were their accomplishments or what did they do that was important?

Refer to the famous people that the students mentioned previously and establish why they are famous.

The writer may add an opinion about the famous person to a biography. An opinion tells how the writer feels about the famous person. An opinion is not a fact because it is what the writer thinks or feels. A fact is something that is true and can be proven.

4. Direct the students to the list of fact and opinion examples and ask the students to tell you whether it is a fact or an opinion. Label the facts F and the opinions O.

5. Review the purpose of a biography and its elements.

Today we learned the purpose of a biography. Do we write a biography to tell about the life of a famous person or to teach how to do something? We also learned that a biography includes important facts about a famous person’s life. Also, some writers may include their opinions about the famous person in the biography.

6. Encourage students to write down the names of some famous people that they would like to learn more about in a notebook or journal.


For Advanced Students:

Ask these students to provide some of the elements of a biography.

For Struggling Students:

These students may have difficulty distinguishing between fact and opinion. Work with them in a small group to provide more examples and practice.

For ELL Students:

These students may have different famous people that interest them. Ask them to share with the class about a famous person from their native country.

Related activities

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