After completing this unit students
should be able to:
- Identify the elements of a biography.
- Write a biography about an author.
- Use various types of maps to locate
- Identify areas on a map using
their knowledge of map skills.
- Identify various types of illustrations
when presented five different types, 100% of the time.
Computers with Internet access.
Presentation software such as PowerPoint/HyperStudio. Library
access for hardcopies.
Technology: have a basic understanding
of Internet searching, PowerPoint and HyperStudio.
One to two weeks.
Activity One: Language
- Motivation/Orientation - The teacher starts the lesson by reading
an excerpt from the book Charlotte's Web. As the excerpt
is read, have the cover of the book projected on the board. After
reading tell the class that this is one of the teacher's favorite
books. Some of the students may laugh or think that it is a children's
book, explain how the story is loved by many because of its representation
of friendship. Then explain to the class that the reason for
choosing E.B. White as the author to do a biography on was because
you like his books. Next show pictures of the covers of other
books E.B. White has written, Stuart Little and The
Trumpet of the Swan, giving a short synopsis of each.
- Information - Project a time line on the board showing
specific dates in E. B. White's life. Explain to the class that
important dates are a necessary part of an author's biography.
Dates considered to be important would be: the author's date
of birth, the author's date of death, if deceased, and the dates
of the author's written works. Also, included in the biography
should be other important dates that signify a milestone in the
author's life. These could include: when they were married (if
applicable), when they attended college (also if applicable),
and when and where they moved throughout their life. A biography
should also include any awards that the author may have received
for their writing. How the author began their writing career
is another piece of information that could be contained in a
biography. Any important quotes stated by the author may be included
in the author's biography, along with important insights or ideas
that may be associated with the author. These points could be
mentioned by the class and written on the overhead projector
for class to use as a reference when they are doing their biographies.
- Application - To give the students an opportunity to
create a biography, one or two students could volunteer to have
the class write their biography. As a class the student's biography
would be written using the overhead projector. Draw a time line
showing the day they were born and other important dates in the
child's life. These may include the day they started school,
the day they moved, or any other significant dates in the student's
life. A short biography would be written on the board including
any awards the student might have earned. The paragraph would
also include any hobbies or other interests the student may have.
At this stage of the lesson show the procedure the teacher went
through when writing their biography on E.B. White. This should
include Web sites visited to find the information on the author.
Explain to the class that it is like a treasure hunt, that one
site may not immediatedly show the information they are looking
for on their particular author but, with a little searching some
"treasure" may be found. Sometimes it is best to search
by using the author's name, and other times more information
may be found searching by the title of the book. Tell the students
to, "Have fun exploring and see what interesting information
you can find about your author."
Activity Two: Social
- Motivation/Orientation - Teacher introduces the lesson "Where
in the World are Your Authors?", a map skills based activity,
through discussion and visual of "author map" to be
completed by the class.
- Information - Class is given various types of maps
and atlases then led through an exercise to help locate where
two authors, chosen by the teacher, reside. (Chose authors which
would not be selected by the students). Teacher will also provide
a bookmarked site using maps found on the Internet, to print
out specific information regarding where the authors live. Class
will then locate and mark the teacher's authors on the author
- Application - Students will help to complete the class
"author map" entitled "Where in the World are
Your Authors?" . Students will locate the two authors using
the various tools. They will then add their findings to the class
map. Finally, they will provide information regarding the area
(points of interest, brief history, etc.) in their final presentation/report.
- Motivation/Orientation - Teacher leads a discussion about illustrators.
She shares books with attractive illustrations. She also presents
books in which the authors are the illustrators.
- Information - Using a PowerPoint presentation the
teacher connects types of illustrations to books. For instance,
pencil drawings, watercolors, etc.
a WebQuest, anyway?
- Application - Students create an illustration from
the book they have chosen for the author's tea. It must be original,
not a replica of one already in the book. Students will scan
illustrations and include them in the class presentation.
According to its creator, Bernie
Dodge (1997), it is an "inquiry-oriented activity"
which may be used by and or developed by educators for classroom
use. Its main purpose is to expose students to technology by
way of searching preselected links as per project. Its beauty
is the amount of world wide integrated information to which students
can be exposed. The highlight is the motivation it brings to
the learning forefront. A WebQuest may be designed as short or
long term. Componets suggested by Dodge are: introduction,
task, information sources, process, guidance, and conclusion.
Designers use these as a foundation to build from and many times
add or eliminate depending on the nature of the Quest.
If you are interested
in reading our reflections and comments regarding the collaborative
creation of this WebQuest, follow this link to ETEC
602 Comments and Reflections.