Friday, September 18, 2015

Fun with Bio Poems!

(huge thanks to Kimberly Geswin fonts! I'm addicted!)

Hi all,

Shana from Hello Teacher Lady here.  

I hope everyone is off to a wonderful start this year. My 7th graders just finished up one of my favorite beginning-of-year activities, the Bio Poem. It's perfectly themed for a language arts class and it helps me learn a ton about my students in a short period of time. 

I used this amazing free resource, Bio Poems Made Easy, by Laura Candler.  I made a handout for students with the planning boxes on one side and the template on the other. This is a great time to talk to students about the importance of planning in writing and the difference between a draft and the final copy. I noticed that many of my students at first tried to skip the planning boxes and went straight to the template, so I made sure to really stress the planning stage and modeled filling in the boxes and narrowing down ideas myself (now my students know I'm afraid of snakes, fish and chainsaws -- hope they don't make of me too much). 

Once they finish filling in their template and are happy with their draft, I give them the blank sheet to create their final copy. Since my end goal is to hang them in my room and I have 100+ students, I decided to scale the final copy sheet down to fit two on a page. 

Now I'm able to sit back and read with amazement while learning a bunch of interesting things about my kids, and I also have some fun and creative student work to display for parents at curriculum night. It's a win-win! 

My almost-complete Bio Poem board!
I also really like the idea of extending the Bio Poem idea to fictional characters or historical figures. I think we'll give it a shot during our Investigating Characters unit this year.

Thanks for stopping by!

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