Thursday, April 12, 2012

Biography, All About Me, and a Freebie!

So this post is not really about me, but if it was, then you should know that I normally have a...uhh...slightly obsessive personality. As in, I wipe the baseboards in my bathroom and kitchen every evening kinda obsessive.

But that's ok...because it's ok to be different.

We started out this Biography and Active Listening Unit by reading the book "It's Ok To Be Different" by Todd Parr. I shared an example of something that I do that is different. No. I did not scare my children by saying I'm a cleaning psycho.

Instead, I asked students to lay down on the floor by their tables and look up at the ceiling with their feet in the air (I so wish I had taken a picture of them giggling away on the floor!) I told them I sometimes like to imagine what it would be like if the ceiling was the floor. Needless to say, they thought this was super silly, but many admitted they do this too!

"...we also have to jump over the lights so ower foots don't get burnt."
 Then, I invited my little babes to write about the things they do that makes them different. They LOVED getting to share what makes them unique. It was such a joy to see them wiggling around in their seats just dying to share their little oddities. EMBRACE IT LITTLE ONES!

"It's ok to be different. I'm skade of the mockbrse because I hurt my back."

"I love to be olon some times. I like to read olon. I am some one very different. That's why it's ok to be different."

Grab this writing paper as a SECOND FREEBIE. It is an easy-to-do writing activity as a part of a biographical unit or as a stand alone practice. After all, the true purpose of this writing mini project is so vastly important: being different is great, and it's what makes our friends special, funny, and interesting to be around!

It's Ok To Be Different freebie Writing Paper

We had been working on completing a study on biographies and autobiographies that integrated our reading skill focus on asking questions to improve comprehension. Perhaps you saw my "Wonder-Full World" freebie? I hope so...but if not, please feel free to pop over to my tpt store and grab it FREE:)

After using "What a Wonder-Full World" to get lots and LOTS of practice on how to engage in conversations where we not only ask questions, but listen long enough to come up with "piggy back" questions, we began discussing the traits of a biography. This is the anchor chart we came up with. It's filled with some great ideas of things kids could ask each other to make for interesting interview questions, and ultimately, a unique biography!

Here are a couple of my little ones' work! They spent a lot of time coming up with a total of 6 questions: 3 "skinny" questions and 3 "thick" questions. Then, they pulled a classmate's name out of a cup to find out who they were going to interview. They were all so anxious and excited to see who's name they were going to pull out of the cup! Finally, they wrote their biographies. What great writing!

Also, during their Daily 5 Writing Rotation they wrote an autobiography. They were asked to include at least 3 of the items from our Biography Anchor Chart when writing about themselves. I was blown away with how many details they included in simply 15 minutes of independent writing, but I guess I shouldn't have been...I know they just adore sharing about themselves!


  1. Hi Ellen! I found you through this post on Pinterest! I'm a new follower!
    primary practice