ESL Lesson Plan: Teach Your Students How to Write a Biography

Using biographies in an ESL classroom is a great way to help students practice critical oral and written skills. Students gain experience interviewing each other and learn how to pick out important details. It also helps them discover a sense of self importance, as they realize that personal information is important. Students are also able to have a lot of fun as they discover new things about many interesting details. This lesson plan is designed as a beginning of a biography unit. It is an introduction to biography and allows students to interview each other and write their own biographies. This lesson plan is complete with content objectives, language objectives, materials, lists of activities, and assessment ideas.

Content Objectives:
1. Students will learn about biography and autobiography and why it is important

2. Students will learn to write an autobiography

Language Objectives:

1. Students will write about themselves.

2. Students will share and learn about each other and present orally to the class.

Materials Needed:1. Construction paper

2. Markers, crayons, colored pencils


1. Intro

a.Who can tell me something about ________? (insert name of student in class and write information on the
board. Repeat until you have enough information.)

b.Ask questions about the information on the board, making sure that everyone understands.

c.Does anyone know what it is called when we write about someone?

d.Briefly introduce biography

2 .Vocabulary: have students record in personal dictionary

a. biography

b. autobiography

3. Discussion and brainstorming (Record on board)

a. Why write them?

b. Why do we want to know about others?

c. Why is it so important?

4. Model

a. Show poster w/autobiography of teacher

b. Ask what kind of biography to verify understanding.

c. Read the poster with the class, asking questions of what is on the poster and encouraging students to ask

5. Activity

a. Have student write by themselves for a little bit, brainstorming and writing a few sentences about themselves
on a small poster, illustrating with pictures.

b. Pair up and share information with a partner

c. Students present the information that they learned about their partner to the class with the teacher following
up each one with questions about the students to the class to verify understanding.

6. Assessment

a. Collect pictures and pass out a small writing assignment and have the students write a brief description of
what a biography and autobiography are and share a couple of things they learned about other people today,
collect at the end of class.

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