Biography Writing Unit (Grades 2-5)

Writing Is Getting the Back Burner Treatment--But Now It's Time To Fix That!

When it comes to writing, there is so much we want (and need) to teach our students. However, we cannot focus on all of it all at once or we will cause our students to hate writing. We also have to be able to teach writing in our schedule--realistically! Some teachers barely have 20 minutes to teach writing during the day!

And With Everything Else You Need To Do...You Don't Have Time To Recreate the Wheel!

I have broken my writing units down into easy-to-implement lesson plans and have included all of the materials you need. 

Each Biography Writing Unit (Grades 2-5) has 12 lessons. The lessons can be implemented at an easy pace---spread out over four weeks, or can be condensed to be taught in a shorter time period.

Since there are twelve biography writing lessons, you have time to build in any of your own mini lessons you feel your class needs. (For instance, if you see your students are struggling with a particular skill, such as capitalizing proper nouns, you can spend a day practicing that skill without falling behind with the unit.)

These lessons are included in the biography writing units:

1. What's a Biographical Report?
2. Brainstorm Topics and Choose a Person
3. Finding Sources
4. Important Life Events
5. Outline Chronologically
6. In My Own Words
7. Using Linking Words and Phrases
8. Writing a Rough Draft
9. Writing a Conclusion
10. Editing With a Partner
11. Revising & Revisiting the Rubric
12. Publishing

The units include a student friendly rubric as well as a checklist they can use as they write. They help keep students focused on the skills taught during the unit, without overwhelming them.

Posters are provided to help teach certain skills. You can print them and put them in students' writing notebooks. This allows them to reference them at any time.
If you choose to have your whole class write on the same topic, these biographical units even include a non-fiction article and list of websites that can be used for student research. (The websites are provided as clickable links and also QR codes.)

However, you can also use the unit with your own topic or by letting students choose topics.

The topics included for each grade level are:

  • 2nd Grade: Katherine Johnson
  • 3rd Grade: Bessie Coleman
  • 4th Grade: Mae Jemison
  • 5th Grade: Wilma Rudolph
I teach multiple grade levels. Are the units different?
The units are mostly similar, but include different mentor texts, and have different examples in the centers. There are a few other minor differences throughout the units that reflect grade level expectations. Each grade level includes different topics for the non-fiction resources. (See breakdown above)

Click the images below to see more & preview the biography writing units.

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