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Lesson Plan

Book Buddy Biographies: Intermediate and Primary Students Working Together

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Book Buddy Biographies: Intermediate and Primary Students Working Together

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Two 30-minute and one 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Renee Waibel

Champaign, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Book Buddies is a program which pairs up a child from a primary class and a child from an intermediate class. In this lesson, students create a personalized biography for their reading buddy as a great way to break the ice when Book Buddies meet for the first time. Students brainstorm questions they can ask to get to know their Book Buddy. They then use the questions to interview their Book Buddies. They write a biography of their new friend and publish it using an online tool. Book Buddies can then share their biographies with each other at their next meeting.

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Stapleless Book: Using this online tool, students can create a book simply by folding.

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In "Cooperative Learning: Response to Diversity," the California Department of Education concludes that "[A]fter nearly fifty years of research and scores of studies, there is strong agreement among researchers that cooperative methods can and usually do have positive effects on student achievement. However, achievement effects are not seen for all forms of cooperative learning; the effects depend on implementation of cooperative learning methods that are characterized by at least two essential elements: positive interdependence and individual accountability" (based on Slavin, 1990).

"Book Buddy Biographies" aims to begin the process of nurturing both positive interdependence and individual accountability by encouraging students to learn more about each other and to reinforce that learning through their own writing. Further, working with Book Buddies can enable children to access literature that is appealing, though not easily decodable, the benefits of which Dorothy Watson addresses in her article "Beyond Decodable Texts-Supportive and Workable Literature."

Further Reading

California Department of Education. 2003. "Cooperative Learning: Response to Diversity".


Slavin, Robert E. "Research on Cooperative Learning: Consensus and Controversy." Educational Leadership 47.4 (January 1990): 52-54.


Watson, Dorothy. "Talking about Books: Beyond Decodable Texts-Supportive and Workable Literature." Language Arts 74.8 (December 1997): 635-643.

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