Sunday, January 13, 2013

Biography in a Bag

One of my favorite projects is Biography in a Bag. My students have been presenting all week and I couldn't be more impressed! I modeled on Monday with a biography of Rosa Parks. We brainstormed and discussed all the parts of the project using Rosa Parks as the example. Then students chose a famous person from my biography library-I have over 60 biographies varying in level of difficulty. Students have to bring in items/objects that symbolize/represent their historical figure in a bag. (This builds excitement because their audience is waiting to see what they pull out). Some objects are very obvious like a football for a football player or a pencil for a famous author, but then there are the ones that WOWed me!

  • A bulldozer for Helen Keller because nothing could stop her.
  • A remote for Jackie Robinson to "mute" out the mean things people were saying about him.
  • A soccer ball for Marjory Stoneman Douglas because she achieved her goals.

What?! Isn't that incredible? This project really makes them think and they get the opportunity to learn about so many other people when their classmates present. It's a creative and engaging way to research historical figures and it's aligned with Common Core.

The beauty of this project is that my class learned about 25 famous people while only researching one! Even more exciting...I had several students ask to "borrow" another student's biography! This is available at my TPT store for just $1 and it includes a rubric!


  1. I love it! And I see you got your words on the bottom... yay!!!

  2. I love it! And I see you got your words on the bottom... yay!!!

  3. Some love from a former student who remember this project very well! (And remembers too Marjorie Stoneman Douglas! ;) )

  4. I am extremely fortunate to be on the same 4th grade team with Joanne. I co-teach a class of general education and ESE students and my students took this project and ran with it. My co-teacher and I were so impressed with the objects our students brought in that symbolized their person. I had 3 guitars (Elvis, Taylor Swift, and Chris Young), a boarding pass (George W. Bush), YouTube logo (how Justin Beiber earned his fame), ect. We were super proud of our students. This product is fabulous and definitely work the buck. Try it and comment how yours went with your class!!

    ---Joanne's #1 fan

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