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Lesson Plan

Telling a Story About Me: Young Children Write Autobiographies

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

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Six 45- to 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Melissa Weimer

Waterford, Michigan


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology





  • Photographs from home
  • Writing and drawing tools
  • Tape or glue for affixing photos
  • Binding materials
  • You Have to Write by Janet S. Wong (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2002)
  • Folders
  • Chart paper and a marker
  • Transparencies and a projector

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1. At least two weeks before beginning the project, send home the following items:

2. Obtain and read You Have to Write by Janet S. Wong. This book uses poetry to describe a group of students looking for topics for a writing assignment. It encourages students to write about the things they see happening all around them in their own lives.

If you can't find You Have to Write, try one of these alternative books with similar themes:

  • Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street by Roni Schotter (Orchard Books, 1999)

  • Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin (Joanna Cotler, 2003)
3. Begin to work on an autobiography that you will make along with the students to model the process for them. You will need to collect your own photographs for the project and should prepare your own version of each of the handouts that the students are going to use. In class, you will refer to these versions as you record them on chart paper or transparencies.

4. When you collect the photos from students, scan or copy the pictures that will need to be returned. To provide additional photographs for their stories, you can also take pictures of the students at school. If any student is unable to bring in photographs from home, you can have him or her create illustrations to use for the project.

5. Have each student bring in a folder to use for storing his or her photos and work on the project. Make one copy of An Autobiography: Ideas For My Story, An Autobiography: Planning My Story, the cover sheet, and the dedication page, and four copies of the autobiography page for each student in the class.

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