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Lesson Plan

It's My Life: Multimodal Autobiography Project

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It's My Life: Multimodal Autobiography Project

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Nine 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Rachel Richardson Vaessler

Monroe, Louisiana


National Council of Teachers of English



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From Theory to Practice



In this unit, students write autobiographies, illustrate them, and set them to music. Music is a powerful tool to evoke emotion, and students will carefully select songs to accompany the stories from their lives. Students brainstorm lists of important events in their lives, along with images and music that represent those events. They then create storyboards in preparation for the final PowerPoint project. After making revisions, they present their final projects to their peers in class. If PowerPoint is unavailable, students might create posters and play soundtracks using cassette or CD players.

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Stapleless Book: Students use this online tool to plan each slide of an autobiographical PowerPoint presentation.

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According to William Kist, "students should be able to both read critically and write functionally, no matter what the medium." We have "broadened the concept of literacy" (cf. Kist) to include multimodal projects so that no student will feel isolated, and every student will gain knowledge and understanding from the sharing of ideas. As the NCTE Statement on Multimodal Literacies states, "The use of different modes of expression in student work should be integrated into the overall literacy goals of the curriculum and appropriate for time and resources invested." This lesson plan encourages such integration by asking students to create multimodal presentations.

Further Reading

Kist, William. 2004. New Literacies in Action: Teaching and Learning in Multiple Media. New York: Teacher's College Press.


NCTE Executive Committee. 2005. Position Statement on Multimodal Literacies. Web. November 2009. http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/multimodalliteracies.

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