Writing Biography Lapbooks with QR Codes

We had a great wrap up of our Biography Unit before Spring Break last week.  My Smarties spent about a month reading biographies about Famous People, and we finally settled into writing about a famous person.  We worked at how to find at least three points of research, and then how to organize and categorize that research for our essays.  Next, we wrote our five paragraph essays, and color coded to make sure there were topics, details and conclusions.  We used our library, and had a lesson from the librarian about citation machine.
But, I wanted something more from this project.  I really wanted to make sure my students understood who their person was, so I handed each one Ipod and Kindle Clipart.  I challenged them to come up with three songs that would be on their person's personal Ipod, and three books that would be on their Kindle.  We took the essays and created Biography Lapbooks.

To get students engaged in reading each other's essays and work, I also taught them about QR codes.  Each student found a video clip that was no more than 3-5 minutes to entice the reader to further investigate.  For example, a student who wrote about Jim Henson found a video clip of Kermit the Frog singing Rainbow Connection.  Another who wrote about Pele, found a clip of the Top Ten Goals scored by this famous soccer player.

We created the Lapbooks, and drew pictures of our famous person on the front.  Next we glued the QR code to the front.  On the inside of the books, we included the essay, Ipod songs and Kindle books.

My students were so excited to debut these books because they were able to bring in their Ipods and use them at school for our Gallery Walk.

On the last full day before break we lined all of our projects up in the long hallway outside of our classroom, then students spread out and spent our 80 minute ELA periods reading and listening about these Famous people.

Our technology director for the district even came down and participated.  I did a short video of one of my students explaining the project, and he even put it up on our district webpage!  Yay to my Smarties!

I know this will be a really memorable project!  I can't wait to get started on a few more Lapbook projects before the school year ends!


  1. I love this! My students are getting ipads this week and this is such an inspiration for me! We will have to try something awesome like this! Thanks for sharing :)


  2. I LOVE everything about this biography book report project! The lap books, the use of technology....so creative!! The 3rd grade teachers at my school do biography book reports, so I'm gonna tell them about this project. Bet they'll love it too! : )

    Teaching Powered by Caffeine

  3. This looks great!! I especially love the gallery walk your students were able to do. I bet the kiddos had such a great time!

    Mind Sparks

  4. I love this! We just started our biography reports today and will be doing something very similar. We will have a living museum a few days after we turn in our reports. My kids are SO excited. I haven't done this with this group before, so I'm excited too!
    I'm going to show them this post tomorrow!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'


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