We recommend that students start writing a simple biography report on key scientists beginning in the third or fourth grade. As they get older, the reports will get more complex, but learning about key scientists helps to deepen our students' appreciation and understanding of science.
To help you out with this task, we wanted to share how to write a biography report on a famous scientist in 5 easy steps.
The first step for writing any scientist biography report is to have the students choose a biography to read.
You may have a book, or article, scheduled in your science program, but If you don't have a book already scheduled for you with your science program, simply choose the scientist you would like to study and then head to your local library. The children's literature section generally has a section for biographies, which makes it easy to find a book that will work for your student.
Here is a list of options we have used in the past:
Once you have your book or article selected, you can read the selection all in one shot or you can break it up over a week or so. If your students are younger, feel free to read the selection out loud. Just be sure to discuss what the students have read, or listened to, each day.
After the students finish reading the book or the article, have them answer a few questions about the book.
These are the questions we include in our teacher guides with our programs:
Here is a free printable for you to use with your students as they answer these questions:
If your students are younger, feel free to act as their scribe as they answer these questions. The plan is that these questions will serve as a basic outline or a list of facts to pick and choose from when the students go to write their actual reports.
The day after you answer the questions, review the student's answers and talk about how to structure the report. Your goal may be a simple one-paragraph report or it may be a several-page essay - this really depends upon the students' ages.
Here is a basic structure for a multi-paragraph report:
You can reduce these topics to once sentence for a shorter report or expand them for a longer one.
Either way, I typically recommend that the rough draft is written or typed on lined paper, skipping every other line so that there is room for editing.
The day after, or a few days after, the students complete the third step, you need to have them edit their papers.
We read the whole draft together when editing because when we do it this way, my student usually picks up most of the errors on her own. Thus making the corrections hers instead of mine, which saves us quite a few tears. If we don't catch them all this way, I will point out any remaining errors and then we move on.
Then once we have finished editing, we will chat about the format for the final report. We typically give a few options for a scientist biography report.
If the students choose to do a mini-book, poster, or lapbook, we will also discuss what the layout of their final project will look like.
After you finish editing and choosing a layout, the students should pull together their final reports.
This step is fairly easy because of all the work you did in the previous four steps. Basically, the students will take their edited draft and put it in the format you decided upon.
You can choose to grade the report or share it with a group. Either way, your students will gain a deeper understanding of science through the men and women that have shaped the course of the subject through their discoveries!
Choose and read a scientist's biography, answer the questions, write the rough draft, edit, and prepare the final report.
That is how you can write a scientist biography report in five simple steps. Hopefully, you are now inspired to try writing one with your students!
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