Memoirs and Biographies

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Our Memoirs and Biographies Lesson Plan explores the differences between memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies. Students will be able to define, distinguish and identify the differences between each. This lesson also exposes students to the difference between authorized and unauthorized writings about a person.  By writing an example and sharing it with the class, students engage with each type of genre to solidify their understanding.

Memoirs and Biographies Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Memoirs and Biographies.
  • Introduces students to the differences between memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies.
  • Students will understand the difference between the three types of genres
  • Students will understand the difference between authorized and unauthorized writings about a person.
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 5-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

Our Memoirs and Biographies Lesson Plan explores the differences between memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies. Students will be able to define, distinguish and identify the differences between each. This lesson also exposes students to the difference between authorized and unauthorized writings about a person.  By writing an example and sharing it with the class, students engage with each type of genre to solidify their understanding.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction

  1. Ask: Who are you? Tell us about your life. Do you have a favorite memory?
  2. Allow for responses. Ask: Can you tell us about the life of another person in this room? What do you know about the person? Would they allow you to tell us or not?
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Once numerous responses are shared using all questions, ask students what the questions have in common with each other.
  4. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce the differences between memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies.
  5. Distribute Memoirs and Biographies content pages. Read and review the information with the students. Save the final question for the lesson closing. Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  6. Distribute Activity page. Carefully read and review the instructions with the students. Pair students. Note the first two parts students will work alone, but they may “bounce” ideas off each other. In all, the activity will take at least two class periods.
  7. Once students are completed with solo activities, they will begin the work on the final two parts. Allow sufficient time, circulate to assure students remain on task. Allow students to interview other students for the unauthorized biography.
  8. For final copies, students may use writing paper or a word processing program.
  9. Schedule class time to allow students to share one or more of the activity parts.
  10. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.

Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.3

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 3-4 class sessions.

Additional Resources:

Want more language arts resources? Check out our other Language Arts Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

5th Grade, 6th Grade

Subject

Language Arts