Thursday, March 12, 2015

My Favorite Biography Picture Books

I am so proud of my kiddos! We were in the thick of our biography genre study and getting ready for our publishing party. Then, BAM-- we miss two days because of a snowstorm. Obviously, I was sort of freaking out because I really didn't know if everyone would finish! But finish they did!

We read a lot of mentor texts to prepare us for understanding the genre and writing our own biographies. Below are a few of my favorites that we read:

From top left to right:

Malala: A Brave Girl From Pakistan/Iqbal: A Brave Boy From Pakistan by Jeanette Winter

Eleanor by Barbara Cooney

Monsieur Marceau by Leda Schubert

Honda: The Boy Who Dreamed of Cars by Mark Weston

Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell

The Harvey Milk Story by Kari Krakow

Hello, I'm Johnny Cash by G. Neri

Diego Rivera: His World and Ours by Duncan Tonatiuh

There were so many meaningful and interesting conversations surrounding these biographies. It was wonderful seeing the kids make connections to other people they had read about in the news or to events happening today--for example, after reading about Cesar Chavez, a lot of the kids connected his method of using non-violence to Dr. Martin Luther King. When reading about Marcel Marceau, many children circled back to learning about Albert Einstein and how he also lived during World War II.  Many of the people we read about were unknown to the kids, but now they feel like they have gotten to know each person individually and reference them in many different parts of the day!

Besides using mentor texts to help find information about our biographical figures, kids used iPads and chromebooks to do research online. We categorized our research into paragraphs about the person's "early life", "adult life" and "accomplishments". Our librarian introduced me to , a great tool for e-resources. There is a section for child-appropriate search engines, like Searchasarus, SIRS Discoverer, and Kid's Search. All you need to access it is a PA library card number! I am sure there are search engines like this for most libraries all over the country. Find out from your local or school librarian!

Now that our publishing party is finished, it's time for me to begin gearing up for spring conferences next week! Wish me luck!

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