Bringing Biography Reports Alive With Apps

16 February 2016 / Leave a Comment

“The best biographies are those that peek into the heart and soul of their subject.” 

“It’s inspiring to read about people who overcome obstacles that seem insurmountable.” 

February is a perfect month to teach biographies. With Presidents' Day and Black History month, students can read about so many different people that have made an impact on our world.

Bring Biography reports alive with apps

As students read biographies, students need to keep these ideas in mind as they dig deeper to make their reading more meaningful:

-  What events have shaped or changed this person's life? (Not just chronological events)
-  What are special qualities of this person? (Not just physical characteristics)
-  Did this person overcome obstacles or take risks? (Not just positive things that happened)
-  Did this person have an effect on the world or other people? (Instead of what the person did, how did this effect the world or other people.)
-  How have other people influenced this person? (Who had an influence on his/her life and how?)
-  Is the world a better place because of this person? (How do you think the world is a better place because of this person's impact?)

By applying higher order thinking skills, students can learn more about the person as an individual instead of reading about chronological events. And, students may want to research to find additional information about this person.

Students can continue applying higher order thinking skills as they report on biographies. Here are five apps I recommend for biography reports.
Animoto for biography book reports

Animoto - Now, Animoto has an app for creating video presentations. Students can add video, text, music and images to their presentation. There's an education version that's for teachers. Teachers can give guidelines for the student presentations or give them the freedom of designing their own.
Voice Thread for biography book reports

 Voicethread - Students can import images, draw, talk and share their Voicethread. Other students can join in on the conversation. Teachers can give guidelines for the Voicethread. I used the online version with my students and they loved it! (If you use the online version, you can send the link to parents.)
Book Creator for biography book reports
 Book Creator - Teachers can design templates in Book Creator with their requirements or students can create their own books about the person. Students can add text, photos, video, music and voice recordings. I love this app! It is so versatile.
Strip Designer for biography book reports

 Strip Designer - Strip Designer is a paid app. Students can create their own comics about the biography. There are lots of templates, caption icons, stickers and you can add your own photos.
Pic Collage for biography book reports
Pic Collage - Pic Collage is always a favorite goto app for so many activities. Students can add pictures directly through the app, add stickers, text, backgrounds and more.

Pic Collage for biography book reports

Free biography posters


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