Biography: People Who Make a Difference


Grade 2: Biography Unit Plan

K-2 Research Cycle

Biography Unit Matrix

Second trimester

Essential Question: How do people make a difference in our world?Essential Understanding: People can make a significant change in our world.Performance Task: Voicethread

Reading Unit:
Reading Nonfiction Text
Transdisciplinary biography unit
Writing Unit:Recording andOrganizing InformationPeople Who Make a Difference
Social Studies:People Who Makea Difference
Media/Technology:Biography Research
Week 1

Lesson A: Introduction to the AUP
Lesson B: Introduction to the Research Process
Lesson 1: Note-taking using
online sources
Week 2
Immersion Lessons:
Narrative vs. informational
text structures
Identification Lessons:
Compare types of biographies

Lessons 1-3
Review purpose of biography
Discuss how people can make a difference
Investigating multiple biographies
Lesson 2: Note-taking using video sources
Week 3
Guided Practice Lessons:
Main topic, fact vs. opinion, important vs. interesting
Identification Lessons:
Organize NF information
Guided Practice Lessons:
Sort by categories, sequence main event/details
Lessons 4-5
Significant vs. interesting facts
Collect information from multiple resources
Lesson 3: Research using PebbleGo Biographies
Lesson 4: Navigating sources
Week 4
Guided Practice Lessons:
Research using multiple resources, compare/contrast, identify how they change the world
Share whole class/small group
Guided Practice Lessons:
Write, revise, and edit
Lesson 6
Place events in chronological order
Lesson 5: Questioning
Lesson 6: Review note-taking
Week 5

Performance Task:
Performance Task:
Lesson 7: Using Voicethread
Week 6

Performance Task: Voicethread
Performance Task:

Media/Technology lessons can be taught during Media class and computer lab time.

Transdisciplinary: Transdisciplinary learning is the exploration of a relevant issue or problem that integrates the perspectives of multiple disciplines in order to connect new knowledge and deeper understanding to real life experiences. Transdisciplinary units culminate in authentic assessments with a genuine audience. Transdisciplinary units weave throughout the school day and are taught though multiple disciplines. Although content may be grounded in a discipline, the unit is not considered a science unit or social studies unit.

Inquiry: A student-centered, active learning approach focusing on questioning, critical thinking, and problem solving. It's associated with the idea "involve me and I understand."

Subject/Discipline Areas: Social Studies, Language Arts, Media,
Time Req: 6 weeks (2nd Marking Period)

Unit Essential Question: How do people make a difference in our world?
Enduring Understanding: People can make a significant difference in the world.

Essential Questions:
Social Studies: How do people make a difference in our world?
Reading: How can we use nonfiction text to expand our understanding of the world?
Writing: How can you share important information effectively?
Media: How can I use technology to acquire and communicate information?

1.1 Significant events and themes in United States history.
  1. Apply terms related to time (e.g. decades, centuries, and generations)
  2. Place key events and people of the historical time period they are studying in a chronological sequence.
  3. Explain the contributions of historical figures (e.g. George Washington, Harriet Tubman, Sacagawea, Squanto, Abraham Lincoln, Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Park)

1.3 Significant events and themes in world history/international studies.
6. Investigate one’s own family, heritage, making comparisons to classmates and community members.
6a. Explain the contributions international communities make to one’a self and community (e.g. food, music, celebrations)

2.1 Access and gather information from a variety of primary and secondary sources including electronic media (maps, charts, graphs, images, artifacts, recordings and texts).
1. Gather information with teacher support using reference materials and electronic media.

2.2 Interpret information from a variety of primary and secondary sources, including electronic media (e.g. maps, charts, graphs, images, artifacts, recordings and text).
3. Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
4. Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.

2.4 Demonstrate an ability to participate in social studies discourse through informed discussion, debate, and effective oral presentation.
8. Present basic information about past or present events, people and/or places.
10. Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about social studies topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
11. Create visual presentations on social studies topics (e.g. poster, chart, picture, timeline).

2.RIT.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
2.RIT.2 Identify the main topic of a multiple paragraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.
2.RIT.3 Describe the connection between a series of historical events,scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
2.RIT.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 2 subject or area.
2.RIT.6 Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.
2.RIT.8 Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes.
2.RIT.9 Compare and contrast the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic.
2.RIT.10 By the end of the year read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grade 2-3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

2.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or question.
2.5 With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.
2.6 With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of visual tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
2.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects.
2.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

2.SL.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
2.SL.2 Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
2.SL.3 Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue.
2.SL.4 Tell a story to recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.
2.SL.6 Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.

1.1 Question: Students will define an information need and plan a course of action to solve a problem or conduct research. (PLAN)
1. Use Big 3 steps in research model (find, organize and present information).
2. Restate the question to show understanding.
4. Identify information needed.
1.2 Plan: Students will use organizational strategies to identify, locate, and access a variety of information. (PLAN)
1. Identify a wide range of resources including encyclopedias, atlases, dictionaries, and maps.
3. Locate selected sources in appropriate areas of the Media Center.
4. Use icons and links to visit pre-selected websites.
1.3 Search: Students will use informational strategies to search for sources to meet and information need.
1. Use keyword searching, with teacher assistance, to locate information.
1.5 Synthesize: Students will synthesize and use information from a variety of sources. (DO)
1. Organize information using webbing.
2. Summarize information with assistance.
1.6 Apply: Students will use appropriate technologies to create written, visual, oral and multimedia to present research findings.
1. Use drawing/writing to record information from a story the teacher reads aloud or an electronic or print illustration.
1.7 Assess: Students will assess the effectiveness of their information choices for problem-solving and conducting research. (REVIEW)
1. Assess the effectiveness of the gathered information.
2.2 Collaborate: Students use digital media to interact with others, work collaboratively and demonstrate global awareness.
1. In a collaborative group, use a variety of technologies to produce a presentation for a curriculum area.
2.3 Communicate: Students interpret, evaluate and communicate using digital and visual media.
1. In a collaborative group, use a variety of technologies to produce a presentation for a curriculum area.
3.1.6 Internet Literacy
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the Internet
○ Use menus and icons to visit pre-selected websites.
4.2 Online Safety: Students understand social, cultural issues relating to media and technology and practice online safety.
1. Identify and practice appropriate and safe behaviours online.
Follow the school’s rules for using computers and the Internet.

Students should be able to:
Social Studies:
  • Identify significant contributions your person made.
  • Explain how these contributions made a difference.

  • Navigate the internet using pre-selected websites.
  • Follow the research cycle to investigate their person.
  • Communicate their findings using a multimedia tool.

  • Utilize nonfiction resources to gather information about their person.
  • Pose questions to research.
  • Work collaboratively with peers.

  • Collect data about a specific person from a variety of sources
  • Integrate collected information.
  • Organize information into appropriate categories.

Performance Task:
Using a webquest as the guided inquiry, students will create a voicethread project highlighting the important contributions and impact their historical/well-known person has made on society.

Sample Performance Task
Possible Extension Opportunity
==y Laurie Robben, Carolyn Sackstein, Karrie Martineau, and Jacqueline Carlin==