With all of the research requirements in the common core, I wanted to create experiences for my 2nd graders that were meeting those requirements as well as being meaningful to my students. I decided I would have them write a biography report. This is how we got it started.
We have an awesome resource available to us at our school called www.pebblego.com. I had the kids explore all around the biography section. I then gave them some guidelines for which people could be chosen. (I decided on African Americans and women) Of course, you can use books or other resources as well.
The kids then explored the people from the categories I chose. (Little do they know, they were learning a lot about a lot of different people! hehehehe) They then wrote down their top 3 or 4 people they would like to research. (I just had them write their choices on sticky notes.)
I went through and made sure to choose something from their list, but figured it out so they all were researching someone different. Oh, and I also took MLK out since we do so much with him.
We started our research with the timeline. I gave the students their timeline note page (included in this pack) so they could record the important dates and events.
The children then research their facts. I had them do most of this part at home so parents could help with the ‘in your own words’ part.
The only section that was left to complete was the character traits part. I put pages of traits and definitions into page protectors in 3-prong file folder. The kids had a mini-dictionary to refer to the definition of the various traits.
We completed this during guided reading groups. That way, I was able to work with a small group at a time. The children chose traits that they thought represented their person. They then wrote what their person did to earn the trait.
Now we were ready for the fun part . . . the organization of all our information. I’ve recently gotten ‘into’ lapbooks and have seen all sorts of neat ones around. However, I haven’t been able to find one that would work for anyone that we wanted to research. So, we got down to work. The kids chose a colored file folder.
We then folded each side so they met in the middle. I was amazed at how well they did. They then glued a piece of construction paper in the middle to make it sturdier.
I had a few of the foldables that were required for each lapbook and also provided extra booklets they could use for extra information.
After I showed the kids how to fold and assemble their foldables, I showed them a sample I made. I then put out some fun paper from my scrapbook table at home. You know, the one that has all the stuff and not very many completed projects? The kids got started on their research foldable. I was flabbergasted at the mess we created!
Here are some close-up samples of the lapbooks.
It was fun and my kiddos have learned bunches! Oh, and we did get the room cleaned up . . . thanks to 25 little vacuum cleaners!