Adult Ed

Individual Legacies: Biography Writing Projects for Self-Discovery

Overview | Activities


A person's legacy is a reminder of his or her life, work, goals and achievements. History is often the legacy of ordinary people who dared to dream. This lesson can be either self-directed or classroom-based in Language Arts or Social Studies, for individual adults, ESOL learners or GED students: the choice is yours. As an extension and in honor of Black History and Women's History months, examine the life of Ms. Rosa Parks to learn how everyday people shape extraordinary events.

Grade level: GED

Subject Matter: Language Arts/Writing

Learning Objectives:

Student will be able to:
  • To use print and Web-based research tools to find information
  • To explore biography as a basis for personal goal setting
  • To make connections between one's experiences and the lives of those in the community
  • To use workshop strategies to facilitate narrative writing

New York State

Standard 2:
Students will listen, speak, read and write for literary response and expression. Students will read and listen to oral, written and electronically produced texts and performances, relate texts and performances to their own lives and develop an understanding of the diverse, social, historical and cultural dimensions the texts and performances represent.

Media components:

Who What When Web site
This interactive timeline builder allows students to research the life and times of great people and extraordinary events as well as streamline their Internet-based research around the key questions: Who? What? When? Like reporters on assignment, students who use this site will be able to quickly retrieve information vital to understanding how history happens.

How to write an autobiography
This mostly text Web site reviews important questions that a writer should consider when planning to write an autobiography. It also helps writers think about additional questions useful for developing supporting ideas and statements for nonfiction writing in general.

Literacy and Learning, video segment #2; "The mini-lesson strategy: Explaining and demonstrating writing technique" (WNET EdVideo Online, Registration required for streaming and/or download)

  • Dictionary, one per pair of students
  • Thesaurus, one per pair of students
  • Paper
  • Pencil/Pen

Handouts Prep for Teachers
  • Bookmark Web sites
  • Register for EdVideo Online
  • Download video segment