Autobiography is an especially good genre for both the beginning and end of the school year. It allows students to talk about themselves, a subject they know best. It serves as a good introduction to non-fiction, folklore, and the history of literature. The warm up exercises in this packet give them an opportunity for a bit more critical exploration than the old “What I did on my summer vacation” assignment.
It is also useful at the end of the school year when they have had the experience of reading all kinds of literature. It involves little research and no textbooks and makes an excellent assignment for those off hours during heavy testing periods.
Activities included in this unit:
The bio-poems on these two pages give students a chance to get in touch with themselves. They can be assigned together or allow students a choice of the two. If the assignment is made at the end of the year after students have gotten to know one another, you should try reading select bio-poems to the class to see if they can recognize the writer.
Autobiography Information Sheets
The information sheets define and explains autobiography. They illustrate the differences between autobiography and biography and give examples of each for discussion. They should be used as a handout distributed to each student and discussed in class. Be sure to highlight the use of anecdotes in the discussion.
Autobiography Note Sheets
The note sheets form an organizational tool for recording a student's thoughts about himself or herself. They form the informational basis for an assignment to write an autobiography and should be distributed, discussed, and filled out by each student. They should be checked for progress prior to the assignment to write an autobiography.
Give each student the assignment to write an autobiography from the information in the completed note sheets. The note sheets then form the basis for the grading rubric. Length of the autobiography is left to the teacher and depends on the amount of time allotted for the assignment.
Another useful addition to our Write On! series, an organizational approach to critical writing preparation and production. See the complete list on our "other work by" page. From CK Teaching Aids, of course.