Biography Research and Topic Acquisition

Presented by: Meghan Scott

Subject Area(s):

Grade Level(s):


This lesson asks students to develop a topic for a biography project and cultivate research skills based on library resources.

Goals & Objectives:

1. Students will be able to define biography topic - a person who has made an impact on the world
2. Students will be able to find research materials and practice strategies for obtaining and using information from resources.


-reference materials in the library
-personal biographies examples
-volume sets such as "Current Biography," "Newsmakers," "Contemporary Musicians"
-anticipatory set Trivia
-stations scavenger hunt - questions to use and practice strategies for searching


1. Begin with anticipatory set trivia to get students thinking about topic discovery - Ask - How do we know this information about these famous people? Why do we want to know it? Why is it important to study famous individuals? Why is it important to know how to research about them?


2. Play trivia game - review answers - give prizes - tell students to begin thinking about their own topic choices


3. Explain where materials are located in the library that would pertain to their research - famous author section, athletes, artists, leaders, etc. Identify set collections such as Current Biography, etc.


4. Explain how documents are located within those materials - index, table of contents, volume number, etc. Explain how to assess that materials - date, author, relevance, amount of material


5. Explain station scavenger hunt - each table has a group of print sources about a specific topic. Using those books, answer the questions included on the scavenger hunt sheet. (Questions can pertain to any part of the materials included on the table

- ex. Find an example of a first lady....
-ex. Find an example of a historical archeologist ...
- ex. What were the dates that Albert Einstein lived? ....
-ex. Find a famous author that you remember from your childhood

6. Move around to each table as the students move - 5 minutes per station- answer questions and guide


1. Review answers to scavenger hunt

2. Ask how students found information within the materials - index, table of contents, title, etc.

3. Ask what their topic are now that they have looked at other famous individuals and their achievements. Whom would they like to research?

4. Begin researching individually- teacher checks progress to see if they are using skills from teaching

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