Biographies are big business. Whether in book form or Hollywood biopics, the lives of the famous, and sometimes not so well-known, fascinate us.
While it’s true that most biographies are about people who find themselves within the public eye, generally the topic is less well known. Largely although, famous or not, the one that is written about has led a life that is in some way incredible.
While your students will most likely have a primary understanding of what a biography is, it’s value taking a little time before they put pen to paper to tease out a crystal clear definition of exactly what a biography is.
Merely put, a biography is an account of somebody’s life written by someone else. While there’s a style known as fictional biography, for probably the most part, biographies are by definition nonfiction.
Generally speaking, biographies provide an account of the subject’s life from the earliest days of their childhood, proper up to the present day or their dying, if the topic is deceased.
The job of a biography is more than just to stipulate the bare information of an individual’s life.
Reasonably than just listing the essential particulars of their upbringing, hobbies, education, work, relationships, and demise, a well-written biography must also paint an image of the subject’s personality and as well as their expertise of life.
Earlier than students begin writing a biography, they’ll have to have a firm grasp of the main features of the genre. A very good way of initially determining how well they understand these essential components of the style is by asking them to compile a checklist.
At a minimal, their checklists ought to contain the items below. Make sure you assist them fill in any gaps earlier than moving on to the writing process.
The aim of a biography is to provide an account of somebody’s life
Tense: Written previously tense (although ending could shift to the present/future tense)
● Written in the third person
● Opens with a strong hook to seize the reader’s consideration
● Normally written in chronological order
● Uses time connectives
● Covers: childhood, upbringing, schooling, influences, accomplishments, relationships, and so on – everything that helps the reader to understand the individual
● Provides particular particulars about folks, places, occasions, occasions, dates, and so on
● Reflects on how events formed the subject
● Might embrace some related photographs with captions
● Concludes with what the topic is doing now or what their legacy will be.
As soon as your students have compiled a complete checklist of the principle features of a biography, allow them to make use of it to evaluate some biographies from the library using the checklist.
When students have assessed a number of biographies, take a while as a class to debate them. You may base the dialogue across the following prompts:
● Which biographies covered all the criteria from their checklist?
● Which biographies didn’t?
● Which biography was essentially the most readable in terms of construction?
● Which biography do you think was the least well structured? How would you improve this?
Taking the time to look at how different writers have interpreted the form will help students to internalize the required criteria before trying to produce a biography themselves.
Once students have a transparent understanding of the primary features of the biography, they’re ready to begin work on writing a biography.
When the time does come to put pen to paper, ensure they’re armed with the following top ideas to assist ensure they’re as well prepared as possible.
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