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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


Student Objectives

Session One

Session Two

Session Three

Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • participate in a brainstorming session, developing a personalized list of questions.

  • engage in an interview session.

  • using a planning sheet, write, illustrate and edit a biography for their book buddies.

  • present personalized biography to their book buddies.

  • strengthen computer/writing skills by communicating with their buddies using e-mail.

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Session One

  1. Generate a list of possible questions (or use the sample provided) to help guide instruction during the brainstorming session.

  2. Explain the Book Buddy process. Buddies will meet once a week throughout the school year, as well as communicate via e-mail, and the first activity will be completing a project to become acquainted with each other. If needed for the intermediate students, the Scholastic resource Getting the Best out of Book Buddies outlines ways to prepare students to serve as mentors to other readers. 

  3. With the class, brainstorm a list of possible questions that they can ask their Book Buddies to get to know them better.

  4. Record responses on the board. Keep discussion going by providing examples when needed.

  5. After brainstorming questions, intermediate students copy at least ten questions to make their interview survey, and the primary students' teacher prepares an interview sheet using questions from the board.

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Session Two

  1. Arrange for the two classes to meet.

  2. Each teacher can either take a class list and cut the names into strips and place them in a container to choose partners randomly, or they can meet beforehand to choose partners based on reading abilities.

  3. As buddies are paired up, they find a place in the room and interview each other, recording answers as they talk. They should also exchange school e-mail addresses at this time.

  4. After completing the interview, the students go back to their respective rooms and begin the biographies.

  5. If school e-mail is available, have students follow up their first meeting with a "nice to meet you" e-mail. Exchanging e-mail at least once a week throughout the year will reinforce the buddies' writing skills as well as their relationship overall. In effect, students become Tech Buddies and Writing Buddies as well as Book Buddies. Encourage them to write about books and poems they have read, stories they have written, or information about favorite authors in their e-mail communication.

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Session Three

  1. Using the information gathered from the questionnaire, students create personalized biographies for their Book Buddies. Print out the Stapleless Book Planning Sheet to help students plan each page.

  2. As children work, the teacher should circulate through the room giving instruction and helping to edit as necessary.

  3. When students are satisfied with their planned books, have them create a final version of their biographies, with text and illustrations, using the Stapleless Book interactive.
  4. Finish the session by planning a book-sharing time for all the new Book Buddies!

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Teachers can choose to assess this lesson in a variety ways, including:

  • observation and anecdotal notes based on classroom performance.

  • a focus on the finished biographies, with attention to questions such as:

    1. Does the text match the information from the student- or teacher-created questionnaire?

    2. Did the author proofread his or her writing for capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and grammar?

    3. Do the illustrations connect with the text?

  • books read aloud without saying the name and have students guess who you are reading about.


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