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Lesson Plan

A Biography Study: Using Role-Play to Explore Authors' Lives

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Seven to ten 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Carol S. Anderson Gibson

Phoenix, Arizona

Debra J. Coffey

Knoxville, Tennessee


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives






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Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing


Students generate descriptive timelines and can include images in the description.


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1. Bookmark the ReadWriteThink Timeline Tool on school computers to assist students in creating their timelines. Ensure that the program is running and printing properly. (If you experience difficulty, make sure that computers have the most recent version of the Flash plug-in, which can be downloaded for free from the ReadWriteThink Technical Help page.)

2. Bookmark and review the essays on the U.S. Literary Map Project website, which includes essays written by students. Although the website is no longer accepting submissions, you can still use it as a model for your students' essays.

3. Prepare a student sign-up sheet for students to use when selecting their authors to research. Each student will need to select a different author; this sheet will help to avoid duplications.

4. Bookmark the Research sites on the computers, and confirm that they are available and appropriate for your students (see Resources). In addition, screen and bookmark any other websites that provide information about the authors your students will be researching.

5. Preview the various Student handouts available with this lesson, and modify them to meet the needs of your students (see Resources).

6. Preview the sample questions for the author mixer discussion, and prepare any others that you would like to use during that session (see After Reading, Author mixer).

7. Preview the Assessment rubrics available with this lesson and modify them, as necessary, to meet the needs of your students (see Resources). Access Rubistar and Bridging the Gap: Group Work Rubrics and Checklists to find or create other assessment rubrics to use with this lesson.

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