This idea was submitted by Mary Hahn, who retired last month after forty-one years in the teaching profession. Many of my best ideas in the past three years have come from her classroom and we’re not even at the same school. Thank you, Mary!
This project has worked very successfully in my classroom to get students to complete research on a famous American and create a fun and visually appealing project.
Students conduct research on a famous person of their choosing. I align this with the 2nd grade courage unit but you can align it with other units at different grade levels as well, friendship, risks and consequences, etc… I complete it in class so that I can assist students but it can be completed as a homework assignment too depending on your student and parent population. (See comment section for 5th grade version submitted by Francie Kugelman)
I recommend having a selection of biographies available for students in class. The “Picture Book” series by David Adler is fantastic, particularly because each book has a timeline in the back.
Students then organize their research and present it on a four page vertical accordion book which can hang in the classroom.
In addition, this project lends itself to oral presentations. By using a linguistic frame even English Language Learners can be successful in their presentations. For example:
For the past three weeks I have been researching information about _______________________.
He/She is important because he/she ___________________________.
In his/her life, several important things happened including:
1. ______________________________ 2. ______________________________ 3. ______________________________
_______________________made a difference because ____________________.
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