Introducing Students to Biographies With Freebie

Introducing students to biographies gives them an opportunity to learn about lives of people who have made an important contribution and difference in the world. Selecting different books about people from different eras, ethnicities, and occupations gives students a glimpse of a variety of early lives, hardships, and impacts on society. 


When introducing students to biographies, it's important to select different books about people from different eras, ethnicities, and occupations that will give students a glimpse of a variety of early lives, hardships, and impacts on society. Use the ideas, resources, FREE biography posters download, and questions provided at this blog post to engage your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students. The story included here is great for Black History Month or social studies integration.





Questions to Ask When Introducing Students to Biographies

When introducing students to biographies, it's important to select different books about people from different eras, ethnicities, and occupations that will give students a glimpse of a variety of early lives, hardships, and impacts on society. Use the ideas, resources, FREE biography posters download, and questions provided at this blog post to engage your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students. The story included here is great for Black History Month or social studies integration.

  1. What is a biography? 
  2. Can you think of some examples of biographies that you know about or have read? 
  3. What are some important features of a biography?

Dave the Potter

When introducing students to biographies, it's important to select different books about people from different eras, ethnicities, and occupations that will give students a glimpse of a variety of early lives, hardships, and impacts on society. Use the ideas, resources, FREE biography posters download, and questions provided at this blog post to engage your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students. The story included here is great for Black History Month or social studies integration.

Introducing Dave the Potter

The book I chose to share with you is Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick and illustrated by Bryan Collier. I was scanning through different biographies and thought this book would be perfect as students learn more about black history. It's also a great book to partner with your art teacher. Your art teacher can do a pottery activity with your students while you teach reading skills. 

Dave was a slave in South Carolina with a remarkable talent as a potter and poet. He could even read. During the seven decades of Dave's life, he produced thousands stoneware jugs and signed each with the name Dave. Dave also added simple poems on his works. This beautifully illustrated book gives the reader an opportunity to understand the life of a slave and how Dave saw significance of clay and the pots he created. 


This Caldecott Honor book is different from other biographies because it shares more about Dave's personal experience of creating the pots. It's not until the end of the book, when readers are able to learn more about his life. Not much is known about Dave himself, but his work will live with us for years to come. This video gives you a little more information about Dave. You'll also see examples of Dave's work.



After Reading the Book

Questions to Ask

  1. How is this book different from other biographies?
  2. Why do you think the author chose this format for the book? (Compare Martin's Big Words to Dave the Potter.)
  3. What have you learned about Dave?
  4. What characteristics describe Dave?
  5. How is his talent different from other slaves?

Extension

  • Divide your students into groups to discuss the meanings of the verses on Dave's pots.
  • Color and write verses on pots (printable). Then students can explain their verses. Students can even roll out modeling clay and outline a pot.
  • Bring out more biographies of famous black Americans who made a difference.

Download your free biography posters.


When introducing students to biographies, it's important to select different books about people from different eras, ethnicities, and occupations that will give students a glimpse of a variety of early lives, hardships, and impacts on society. Use the ideas, resources, FREE biography posters download, and questions provided at this blog post to engage your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students. The story included here is great for Black History Month or social studies integration.

To purchase the complete product of Dave the Potter, visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store.


When introducing students to biographies, it's important to select different books about people from different eras, ethnicities, and occupations that will give students a glimpse of a variety of early lives, hardships, and impacts on society. Use the ideas, resources, FREE biography posters download, and questions provided at this blog post to engage your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students. The story included here is great for Black History Month or social studies integration.

When introducing students to biographies, I always suggest that you select a variety of styles and formats by different authors. Laban Carrick Hill and Bryan Collier did a beautiful job in depicting the passion, dedication, and unique talent of a slave during the 1800's.



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