Biography Research Reports - Print and Digital


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These Biography Research Reports can be used for any famous person including historical, current musicians or entertainers or sports stars. There are many different options in both the print and digital versions so you can easily customize the reports to fit the needs of your students.

The reports can be used with any sources you have available: library books, encyclopedia articles, articles, online reference sources or internet sites. 

Print Research Reports

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There are over 20 pages included in the print reports. Each set comes in color and black and white, with writing lines and without writing lines. 

Template/pages list:

  • Biography and autobiography poster
  • Cover pages
  • Personal information chart
  • KWL chart
  • Timeline of the person’s life. There is one column to write in events and one column to write in the dates.
  • Photo gallery. Students can draw or glue images of the person
  • In their own words. Students can write quotes from the person they are researching.
  • Early life
  • Adult life
  • Accomplishments of the person
  • Struggles or difficulties the person overcame
  • Other facts about the person
  • Summary page (6 boxes to summarize different facts about the person. Includes early life, family/friends, adult life, personality traits, struggles/accomplishments and other facts).
  • Bibliography or works cited page for students to record their sources. There is an example page so students know how to write the information.
Students can write specific facts about their person on these pages. The personal information sheet will help guide their research by having them answer questions. They can record dates and events on the timeline page and use the summary page to bring all the facts together.

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On these pages, students can draw pictures of their person or they can print images online and paste them on the page. There is also a page for students to write important quotes or phrases the person is known for. 

graphic organizers

graphic organizers

Students can write more detail about their person on these pages. There is a page for their early life and adult life, an overview page, their accomplishments and struggles and other facts the student wants to include. There are pages with and without writing lines.

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Students need to learn the importance of citing their sources and keeping track of where they find their information. I included a bibliography and a works cited page. They are identical except for the title of the page. The first page is an example of how to cite various sources. The format loosely follows MLA but is more simplified for elementary students. Then there is a blank form for students to write in their sources.

graphic organizers

graphic organizers

And all of the pages come in black and white as well. 

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Digital Biography Templates

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The digital templates are virtually identical to the print templates except they come in a Google Slides format. There are many advantages to using the digital option. When you share the slides with students you can decide which pages to keep and which ones to delete. Text boxes already inserted so students can just click and type. It's paperless. You can use the color templates and not have to worry about your printer ink. Students can easily fix their mistakes. Students' work is saved to their Google Drive automatically. You can still print pages if you would like. You can upload the slides to an app like Seesaw. You can share the reports with parents easily. 

List of the included templates: 

  • Slides 1 & 2: biography and autobiography poster
  • Slides 3 & 4: cover pages (2 different color options)
  • Slide 5: students fill in the chart with personal information about the person
  • Slide 6: KWL chart
  • Slide 7: Timeline of the person’s life.
  • Slide 8: Photo gallery. Students can insert images of the person using the image search function
  • Slides 10 & 11: In their own words. Students can type in quotes from the person they are researching. 
  • Slide 12: Early life
  • Slide 13: Adult life
  • Slide 14: Accomplishments of the person
  • Slide 15: Struggles or difficulties the person overcame
  • lide 16: Other facts about the person
  • Slide 17: Summary page 
  • Slides 18–21: Bibliography or works cited page for students to record their sources. There is an example page so students know how to type in the information.
  • Slides 22-25: All About pages for students to type up their research report. 2 different color options.
  • A black and white .pdf file with all the templates
            

Must- Have Biography Series for Elementary Students

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My students love reading biographies. Usually, they ask for a biography on a sports star or music performer. They might ask for a biography of someone they learned about in class. And for some reason, they all want to read biographies on Michael Jackson! It can be tough keeping current biographies on the library shelves. Biographies can be expensive and they are outdated as soon as they are printed. Also when it comes to current biographies it's very possible that students won't want to read about the person two years from now. So it can be hard to justify the purchase.

When choosing biographies I like to stay with the same series for several reasons. I have already determined that the series meets my needs. I know the format of the books in the series. For example, I know what kinds of text features are in the book and whether the book has an index or glossary. I know the reading level and interest level. Also, it can be easier for students to see what books belong in the series and find them on the bookshelf.

Below is a list of my favorite biography series for both primary and upper elementary.

Primary Biographies

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Leaders Doing Headstands - Picture Window Books

I have purchased many series from Picture Window Books and have been very happy with every purchase. Their biographies are no exception. They have several different series within their biography section. The Leaders Doing Headstands series talks about the childhood of famous people. Two of my favorites are When Martin Luther King Jr. Wore Roller Skates and When Amelia Earhart Built a Roller Coaster. These books are mostly used as read alouds. My first-grade teachers check them out frequently. 

Abdo Books Biographies

Abdo Publishing has many biography sets in their catalog. They are very simple and provide the basic facts about the person they are about. They work very well for simple reports or research. 

Bearport Press

For current biographies, I like the sets published by Bearport Press. They include pop and country music stars, sports athletes and actors. I think they are geared more towards second and third grade.

Upper Elementary Biographies

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There are more choices for biographies for grades 3-5, especially with more high/low books being published (high interest, low reading level). There are also quite a few graphic novel biographies as well. 

Who Was Series by Grosset & Dunlap

I first noticed this series many years ago in the Scholastic Book Fair. This is one of the best biography series I have seen. Students are drawn to the covers that show the person with a large head and funny expressions.

Gateway Biographies by Lerner 

These biographies are on a slightly higher reading level but still appropriate for upper elementary. They include historical figures and current entertainers and politicians. 

Checkerboard Biographies by ABDO Publishing

There are quite a variety of biographies in this series which is why I put it on this list. These include Food Dude Biographies (Ben & Jerry and Colonel Sanders for example) and First in Fashion Biographies (Levi Strauss and Sam Foster Sunglasses Success).

Remember, this is just a few of the series that I think are worthwhile purchases. What series are your must-haves? Leave a comment and let us know.

Looking for a way for your students to complete a biography research project? Read my blog post about my print and digital biography templates. These are easy to adapt to use with various grade levels and abilities and come with plenty of options. You can also purchase them from my website or my TpT store.


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