This is a writing project that can be differentiated in many ways. For whatever way you decide to use this project, students should work with a partner. This not only is a writing exercise but it also practices interviewing and socialization skills. I usually choose the partners myself so each group works well together and also so the two students can get to know each other better. Before beginning the project send the parent information letter home so parents will understand why pictures need to be sent in.
At the beginning of the year, this project could be used as a “get to know you” activity. Just the cover page (Top Secret envelope), student profile and biography sheets could be filled out and made into a book to display in the hall. It could be done this way for beginning of the year writers or for Open House. I display the books on the bulletin board in the hallway. Later in the year, lengthen the project by having the students write an actual biography about their partner. I have included a brief outline for stronger writers and also a scripted writing for younger writers.
The idea is for each student to write a biography about his partner. That means he will be an author by drawing pictures and filling in the sheets with the answers his partner gave him during the interview but will also be the subject of his partner’s project. When the project goes home, each student will take the biography home that someone wrote about him.