Students enter the classroom today to find our ancient laptop carts set up and laptops on their desks. (Honestly, I have to set the laptops up like an hour before the kiddos come or they won't ever boot up in time!!) I tell them that today they are going to choose a leader to read about. Instantly hands go up. I know what they want to ask, "Can we do such and such?" and, "I can't think of anyone." So, I ignore the hands and tell them they can choose whomever they view as a leader. I tell them to look at our list of people and characteristics and if they can get Lil' Wayne to fit in then they can study him. Or, if they can't get him to fit in, they can print his biography out anyway and read it at home.
There are a couple of great websites that offer a huge list of printable biographies and I want to encourage my students to use those but I don't want to tell them the urls because they need the practice using Google, so I just tell them what to Google. (The first two hits are the two sites I like to use most so.....)
I tell the students to Google "Printable biographies for kids" and then instruct them to choose a leader, print their biography and begin to read it. Yes, I want them to print it so they can write on it and keep it. I also give them permission to print one other biography that interests them.
Before actually let the students get started, I hand out the T chart and tell them that after they read their person's biography that they will list characteristics of their person as well as one of the leaders we studies- Martin Luther King, Jr. or Mahatma Gandhi. I tell them that tomorrow they will write a paragraph combining all the information we've learned about leaders.
While the students manipulate the computers to find their biographies, I help troubleshoot where I can and listen to questions about whether or not they should choose a certain person. I say over and over, "'It's not up to me."
When the end of class nears, I begin to give the students some warnings so they can finish up their charts. At this point, they should be done printing the biographies.
I let the students share who they chose and a little about their person and how they are like either MLK or Gandhi. For students who have charts to finish, I let them take theirs home to complete.
Tomorrow we write!!