Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Portfolio Autobiographies

Louise Kent


The students create autobiographies. The final projects are published using word-processing and computer graphics.


The student drafts and revises writing that -is focused, purposeful, reflects insight into the writing situation;-conveys a sense of completeness and wholeness with adherence to the main idea;-has an organizational pattern that provide for a logical progression of ideas;-has support that is substantial, specific, revelant, concrete, and/or illustrative;-demonstrates a commitment to and an involvement with the subject;-has clarity in presentation of ideas;uses creative writing strategies appropriate to the purpose of the paper;demonstrates a command of language (word choice) with freshness of expression;has varied sentence structure and sentences that are complete except when fragments are used and purposefully; andhas few, if any, convention errors in mechanics, usage, and punctuation.


-Paper and pencil
-Digital camera, if possible
-Color printer
-Computer programs: word-processing and graphics
-Copies of project criteria


1. Copy the project criteria found in the Procedure section for each student. (Suggestion: copy and paste into a new computer file) Instruct students to use this as a guide before going to work at the computer.
2. Gather necessary materials.
3. Arrange for use of a computer lab if necessary.



1. Give each student a handout of the information provided in The Project, Visual Goal and Required Features described below.

2. Explain all parts of the project and answer any questions.

3. While students are working, circulate and assist. Identify "computer experts" in the class that can provide assistance.

4. Address any common questions/problems with mini-lessons at appropriate times (on writing and/or computer usage). Allow students to conference with each other on content and editing.

5. Compile a class booklet of autobiographies.


The Project:

Create an autobiography of yourself. Illustrate your project and include a cover page. You may design your cover page on your computer. All autobiographies need to be word-processed at school following the format described below. (Optional- provide a wallet-size school picture of yourself.)

Visual Goal:

Your final project should be computer-generated. Your autobiography page will be word-processed at school, and your cover page will demonstrate some kind of computer graphics, created and printed either at school or at home.

Required Features:

Data (80 points)

1. Autobiography (50 points)- Your paper must contain at least three paragraphs. Each paragraph should have at least six well-written sentences describing yourself. You may choose from the topics listed below.

Paragraph one - about yourself (16 points possible: 10 for content + 1 point for each of six sentences)
- Family
- Pets
- Where living now
- Where you grew up
- Age
- Birthday
- Schools attended
- Include anything unusual about any of the above

Paragraph two - favorite things (17 points possible: 11 + 1 for each sentence)
- Foods
-TV Shows
- Books
- Movies
- Magazines
- After school activities
- Friends
- Vacation spots
- Hobbies
- Kind of music
- Weekend activities
- Favorite songs
- Your choice

Paragraph three- hopes for the future (17 points possible: 11 + 1 for each sentence)
- High school
- College
- Vocational School
- Where will you live?
- Career
- Places you'd like to go
- Family?
- What you hope the world will be like
- What you plan to do to improve the world

2. Cover Page (30 points) - Your cover page must demonstrate your personality somehow. It must be computer-generated. You may not hand-draw your cover page without prmission.

- Your cover page should include the following:
- Your name
- Your grade
- Your class year
- Any form of graphic or computerized drawing.
You may use your computer at home to complete your cover sheet. (Optional: You may scan a picture of yourself or you may use a digital camera.)

3. Formatting (20 points)

- Your autobiography page should be formatted as follows:
- (3) Use HELVETICA font
- (3) Use SIZE 12
- (3) Use 1- page margins
- (3) Use 1.5 line spacing
(Your title should be creative and reflect your personality.)
- (5) Spell check and proof-read your final copy before handing in.


Your completed project must be written in complete sentences and follow the format as stated above. You are to hand in both autobiography and cover pages. Your completed paper must contain no run-on sentences, spelling errors, typos or sentence fragments. Do not staple your project.

This will be saved on your computer disk in addition to be printed out and turned in for a grade. This is to be part of your portfolio.


Formative assessment:
Circulate and assist students as they are working on their projects. Question students on the writing process and on computer usage/skills (refer to identified standards and the criteria listed in the Procedure section. Note problem areas and adjust instruction accordingly

Summative Assessment:
Assess the printed classroom copy for the established criteria. Points are included in the Procedure section and should reflect the level of achievement attained in each area.
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