Lesson: Biography: Martins Big Words

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to identify the features of biographies

Lesson Plan



State Standard:

5.LT-G.2. Identify and analyze the characteristics of various genres (poetry, fiction, nonfiction, short story, dramatic literature) as forms with distinct characteristics and purposes. This lesson is adopted from Interactive Read Aloud’s by Linda Hoyt



Students will be able to identify the features of biographies

Do Now


What do you know about Martin Luther King




Discuss do now


Direct Instruction

A book about a real person’s life is a biography. This book is written by someone other than the person. When you read a biography, of course, you look for facts about a person’s life. But think beyond just the facts. Try to figure out what makes a person “tick.” Did something important happen to them? What inspired them? How did they inspire other?



Guided Practice


Show the cover of Martin’s big words. Discuss the illustrations. Why did author use paintings instead of pictures?  Read the first five pages. Ask why did the author write about Martin’s childhood? Read several more pages. Ask why did the author print the words in different colors? How does that support the theme of the biography. Continue through the rest of the story. Stop to discuss the features of the book. Notice dates and important information Work together to complete the biography story map.


Then read another Martin story. For example: My Brother Martin. Compare and contrast the styles of the biography.


Independent Practice

Have students read their own biography and complete graphic organizer.



Restate features and styles of biographies. Have students share story maps with their partner.




story map



Lesson Resources

biography graphic organizer   Activity
feb05 unit BiographyChart   Activity


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