English- Biography Unit Grade 6

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Inspired by a presentation at the Reno AASL conference

I teamed with my 6th grade English teachers and we redesigned the 6th grade Biography Unit to make it more exciting and dynamic! Rather than sitting through another biography report about Babe Ruth or Harriet Tubman we decided to take a different slant. Where the kid would choose a FICTION book, read it, then create a brochure with biographical information about the AUTHOR!

We introduced the unit by doing the activity below and to the left...getting the kids to think about what makes a killer blurb!

Attack of the Killer Blurb: 6th Grade Biography Unit

I read The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs (and the next year i did The Stinky Cheese Man and Fairly Stupid Tales!) then i had the kids write a blurb about it..using ways to lure the reader into reading the book, suggested a few tips on how to write a good blurb (see PPT below!) this was the pre-unit activity before they start Author Biography unit below.

Page 1 for 3 Lil Piggys


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page 2 (have them read this first!)

from the great article Writing Great Blurbs (used with permission)

Terrific Scholastic Resource for Teachers:
**About the Book**
**Before Reading the Book****Classroom Activities**
The Stinky Cheese Man - Activities & Audio Story!

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Download the Attack of the Killer Blurb powerpoint for True Story of 3 Little Pigs:

Download the Attack of the Killer Blurb for the Stinky Cheese Man PowerPoint

Please NOTE! These are Comic Life Documents. You will need to have Comic Life installed on your machine to download, use & modify.

Here is the final product for the NEW & Improved! 6th grade Biography Unit...
it's to be printed on 8.5X14 LEGAL paper and folded like a bookcover...
This is the rough draft where the kids will design a cover, write a blurb and a short author biography and then either research or "make up" quotes about the book. Then they will transfer this rough draft to a larger size using construction paper or any other materials of their choice. As long as they have the elements required on the rough draft in their final product they will have fulfilled the goals of the project. They came to the Media Center with their English classes and using a list of authors we had previously researched they selected a fiction book of their choice to read. If the author wasn't on the list, i was on a computer and looked up and printed out Bio information for them and then added that author to the list. their job is to read the book, then do biographical research on the author making connections (if possible) about how the author's life has impacted their writing.
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Original book cover design in Comic Life:

Does not have the words EXAMPLE or Designed to be printed stuff on it....that's just for the thumbnail.