Janet Russeau
Technology Applications Specialist

Not the same old Boring Biography Report - Grade 4

Project Published 9/5/12 Last updated on 2/28/20
Students choose an individual from the school library’s approved book list, check out the associated biography, and read the book. Additionally, students will be guided through an inquiry and asked to conduct research about their subject. After students have read the biography and conducted the necessary research, they will create a short presentation (5-10 minutes maximum) about the individual and present it to the class. Students must also be prepared to answer questions from the teacher and fellow classmates. Students will choose one of the presentation formats listed in the PDF.

Althought this project is aimed at 4th grade, it may be adapted to fit grades 5-12.

Age Levels
1+ Week
Content Standards
Custom Standards

State of Michigan Grade Level Content Standards (GLCEs) met by this project:


Word Recognition and Word Study

Word Recognition

Students will…

R.WS.04.01 explain how to use word structure, sentence structure, and prediction to aid in decoding words and understanding the meanings of words encountered in context.

R.WS.04.02 use structural, syntactic, and semantic cues including letter-sound, rimes, base words, affixes, and syllabication to automatically read frequently encountered words, decode unknown words, and decide meanings including multiple meaning words.

R.WS.04.03 automatically recognize frequently encountered words in print with the number of words that can be read fluently increasing steadily across the school year.

R.WS.04.04 know the meanings of words encountered frequently in grade-level reading and oral language contexts.

R.WS.04.05 acquire and apply strategies to identify unknown words or word parts; self-monitor, and construct meaning by engaging actively in reading a variety of genre, self-correcting, and using a thesaurus.


Students will…

R.WS.04.06 fluently read beginning grade-level text and increasingly demanding text as the year proceeds.


Students will…

R.WS.04.07 in context, determine the meaning of words and phrases including similes, metaphors, content vocabulary, and literary terms using strategies and resources including context clues, semantic feature analysis, and a thesaurus.

Informational Text

Students will…

R.IT.04.01 identify and describe the structure, elements, features, and purpose of a variety of informational genre including autobiography/biography, personal essay, almanac, and newspaper.


Students will…

R.CM.04.01 connect personal knowledge, experiences, and understanding of the world to themes and perspectives in text through oral and written responses.

R.CM.04.02 retell through concise summarization grade-level narrative and informational text.


Students will…

R.MT.04.01 self-monitor comprehension when reading or listening to text by automatically applying and discussing the strategies used by mature readers to increase comprehension including: predicting, constructing mental images, visually representing ideas in text, questioning, rereading or listening again if uncertain about meaning, inferring, summarizing, and engaging in interpretive discussions.

Critical Standards

Students will…

R.CS.04.01 develop, discuss, and apply individual and shared standards using student/class created rubrics and begin to assess the quality, accuracy, and relevance of their own writing and the writing of others.

Reading Attitude

Students will…

R.AT.04.01 be enthusiastic about reading and do substantial reading and writing on their own.


Writing Genre

Students will…

W.GN.04.04 use the writing process to produce and present a research project using a teacher-approved topic; find and narrow research questions; use a variety of resources; take notes; and organize relevant information to draw conclusions.

Writing Process

Students will…

W.PR.04.01 set a purpose, consider audience, and replicate authors’ styles and patterns when writing a narrative or informational piece.

W.PR.04.02 apply a variety of pre-writing strategies for both narrative and informational writing (e.g., graphic organizers such as maps, webs, Venn diagrams) in order to generate, sequence, and structure ideas (e.g., plot, setting, conflicts/resolutions, definition/description, or chronological sequence).

W.PR.04.03 draft focused ideas using a variety of drafting techniques composing coherent and mechanically sound paragraphs when writing compositions.

W.PR.04.04 revise drafts based on constructive and specific oral and written responses to writing by identifying sections of the piece to improve sequence and flow of ideas (e.g., arranging paragraphs, connecting main and supporting ideas, transitions).

W.PR.04.05 proofread and edit writing using appropriate resources (e.g., dictionary, spell check, grammar check, grammar references, writing references) and grade-level checklists both individually and in groups.

Personal Style

Students will…

W.PS.04.01 exhibit personal style and voice to enhance the written message (e.g., in narrative text: strong verbs, figurative language, sensory images; in informational text: precision, established importance, transitions).

Grammar and Usage

Students will…

W.GR.04.01 in the context of writing, correctly use simple and compound sentences; direct and indirect objects; prepositional phrases; adjectives; common and proper nouns as subjects and objects; pronouns as antecedents; regular and irregular verbs; hyphens between syllables; apostrophes in contractions; and commas in salutations to set off words; phrases and dialogue; quotation marks or italics to identify titles or names.


Students will…

W.SP.04.01 in the context of writing, correctly spell frequently encountered words (e.g., roots, inflections, prefixes, suffixes, multi-syllabic); for less frequently encountered words, use structural cues (e.g., letter/sound, rimes, morphemic) and environmental sources (e.g., word walls, word lists, dictionaries, spell checkers).

Writing Attitude

Students will…

W.AT.04.01 be enthusiastic about writing and learning to write.



Students will…

S.CN.04.01 use common grammatical structures correctly when speaking including appositives, participial phrases, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases to express ideas in more complex sentences.

S.CN.04.03 speak effectively using facial expressions, hand gestures, and body language in narrative and informational presentations.

S.CN.04.04 present in standard American English if it is their first language. (Students whose first language is not English will present in their developing version of standard American English.)


Students will…

S.DS.04.01 engage in interactive, extended discourse to socially construct meaning in book clubs, literature circles, partnerships, or other conversation protocols.

S.DS.04.02 discuss narratives (e.g., fantasy, myths, legends, adventures, poetry), conveying the story grammar (e.g., various character roles, plot, story level theme) and emphasizing facial expressions, hand gestures, and body language.

S.DS.04.03 respond to multiple text types by reflecting, making connections, taking a position, and/or showing deep understanding.

S.DS.04.04 plan and deliver presentations focusing on a key question using an informational organizational pattern (e.g., descriptive, problem/solution, cause/effect); supportive facts and details reflecting and emphasizing facial expressions, hand gestures, and body language.

L I S T E N I N G & V I E W I N G


Students will…

L.CN.04.01 ask substantive questions of the speaker that will provide additional elaboration and details.

L.CN.04.02 listen to or view critically while demonstrating appropriate social skills of audience behaviors (e.g., eye contact, attentive, supportive) in small and large group settings.

L.CN.04.04 recognize and analyze the various roles of the communication process (e.g., to persuade, critically analyze, flatter, explain, dare) in focusing attention on events and in shaping opinions.


Students will…

L.RP.04.01 listen to or view knowledgeably and discuss a variety of genre and compare their responses to those of their peers.

L.RP.04.03 respond to multiple text types listened to or viewed knowledgeably, by discussing, illustrating, and/or writing in order to clarify meaning, make connections, take a position, and/or show deep understanding.

L.RP.04.04 combine skills to reveal strengthening literacy (e.g., viewing then analyzing in writing, listening then giving an opinion orally).

L.RP.04.05 respond to and summarize the major ideas and evidence presented in spoken messages and formal presentations.

All Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCEs) for 4th grade taken from the K-8 English Language Arts Standards version 12.05 available from

ISTE Standards
Students: Creative Communicator, Students: Empowered Learner, Students: Innovative Designer
  • Internet-enabled computer
  • Possibly a scanner
  • Refer to project PDF for additional materials required for each specific presentation type
CC License
Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
4 / 5 • 4 Ratings

Resources (2)

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