Project Title: Presenting Authors
Software Used: Power Point, Internet or library for research (I have also allowed a student to create a web page based off an author and add links to helpful biographical sites.)
Subject and Grade Level: 9-12 English
Intergrated Subject Areas Also Covered: This same lesson can be used with any historical figure.
Standards: 12.1.1, 12.1.2, 12.1.8, 12.2.1, 12.2.2, 12.2.3, 12.2.5, 12.3.1, 12.3.2
Suggestions: I have found that writing a biography is really a difficult assignment to give students without the students being almost forced to plagiarize. Rather than giving up on assigning biographies, I create a twist by assigning it as a Power Point presentation. Students must present their author, but may only use bulleted items on their Power Point. I also offer bonus points for creativity. For instance, the ABCs of Dr. Suess may have information presented with sentences that are all in alphabetical order with a rhyme scheme. The creativity bonus must fit the author’s personae.
Materials needed: None, other than computers
Lesson Plans/Directions: I allow students two days for research, one day for creating the Power Point, and one day for peer practice of the presentation. I emphasize that the Power Point must represent the author’s personae. I also insist on some personal history and struggles, pop culture influence like history or art, important works, and influence on others. It should have at least 15 slides. When students present the Power Point, they are not allowed to read word for word. The Power Point should be used as an outline. Students must also power dress and we often use it as the speaking assessment.