Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Be a Celebrity and Share Your Life with Us

Patricia Morres
Santa Rosa District Schools

Description

Students become class celebrities by writing their own autobiographies and by sharing them with the public, the class.

Objectives

The student organizes information using appropriate systems.

The student writes fluently for a variety of occasions, audiences, and purposes, making appropriate choices regarding style, tone, level of detail, and organization.

Materials

-Personal shield from previous lesson (see Beacon Lesson Plan: Create Your Personal Shield)
-Student paper
-Student pen

Preparations

1. Review Beacon Lesson Plan: Create Your Personal Shield.
2. Set aside one class period to present the autobiography assignment.

Procedures

BACKGROUND
This project may be done alone, but it is most successful when done as the second part of the Beacon Lesson Plan, Create your Personal Shield. After students have completed this lesson, use the shields as a springboard or pre-writing activity to allow the students to think about their lives, and how to present a mini-view of some aspects of their lives in an well-written, organized essay. Stress that it is important to cover all aspects of the assignment and that the rubric used to assess the essay emphasizes organization.


LESSON PROCEDURE
This activity takes one class period to present, and students should be given at least three days to complete the assignment at home before turning in their final copies.

1.Use the personal shield from Create a Personal Shield, as a pre-writing activity. If you choose not to use this lesson as a pre-writing exercise begin by having a total class discussion about general likes, dislikes, goals and special events.

2.Tell students that after they cluster their ideas they should write a five paragraph autobiography. Paragraph one includes their place of birth, names of parents or guardians and the names of brothers, sisters and pets. Paragraph two includes their likes; paragraph three includes their dislikes. Paragraph four describes an event which is memorable, and the final paragraph contains future goals.

3.Stress the use of transition words or phrases and the need for including all items in the autobiography. Talk to students about style, tone and details. Remind them that no one wants to read a boring paper so just listing the facts is probably not a good technique. Brainstorm with the class unique ways to begin the essays, unique formats to use that still meet the guidelines, and ways to include details so that the reader sees the same thing the writer sees. Emphasize unique, descriptive vocabulary, sentence structure variation, and humor.

4. Guidelines for proper submission of this paper may vary. Example variations may include: specifics for typing (double spaced, font size of 12, etc.); handwritten papers must be written in blue or black ink and skip a line between written lines, etc.

5. Assess the students' writing using the rubric criteria. (See Assessments)

Assessments

Criteria
Exceptional:
Student includes all items in five paragraphs, uses transitions and presents essay in an organized format.
Student's writing reflects much effort in the areas of style, tone, and/or level of details.

Acceptable:
Student includes all items in five paragraphs, uses some transitions and presents essay in a mostly organized format. Student's writing reflects some effort in the areas of style, tone, and/or level of details.

Whoa--See Me Now:
Student does not include all items and/or does not have five paragraphs, uses few or no transitions and presents essay in a mostly unorganized format. Student's writing reflects little or no effort in the areas of style, tone, and/or level of details.

Extensions

This assignment is appropriate for all levels of students, grades 9 through 12. It works extremely well when assigned with the Beacon Lesson Plan, Create Your Personal Shield because the shield serves as an excellent pre-writing activity. This is also an easy way for teachers to become familiar with individual students early in the school year.
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