Biographies are a great way to enhance reading skills while exploring history at the same time. But here in Wonderopolis, we don’t just explore history — we make our own!

Get ready to do some time-traveling! A mad scientist who calls Wonderopolis home has tinkered with time. It is now possible to travel back and forth between the past and present to meet new people and make new friends — simply by opening a book!

Before you proceed, you will need to choose your adventure (and a bio-buddy)!

Step 1: Choose someone to write about. Your bio-buddy can be an artist, musician, author, war hero, athlete, astronaut, past president or even a family member. The possibilities are endless.

All that matters is that you choose someone who interests you. If you can’t think of anyone, Biography.com features BIO Classroom for inspiration.

Step 2: Find out as much as you can about your bio-buddy. Read books and articles. Research the person on the Internet. If your bio-buddy is someone you know, conduct an interview. Use more than one source to gather facts.

Step 3: Take notes as you research. Be sure to take notes on important discoveries you make about your bio-buddy. You will need this information later.

Step 4: Write a summary of your bio-buddy’s life. When was he born? Where did she grow up? What was her family like? What inspired him? What goals has your bio-buddy achieved? What challenges did he have to overcome? Did she invent something? Did he set a record?

Step 5: Write a conclusion. Explain why you chose to learn about this person. Did any of the facts about your bio-buddy’s life surprise you?

 

2 Join the Discussion

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  1. Ok I am the first one (YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!! :P) and I kind of like biography. I got into biography because it tells something’s definition. And that is the story of how I got my first 100 in 1st grade. SO LISTEN UP PEOPLE :P BIOGRAPHYS CAN REALLY, REALLY, REALLY HELP YOU IN SCHOOL!!!!

    • Hi Derek! We’re excited that you’re the first to comment too! We are so glad you’re WONDERing with us! Who’s your favorite biography about? Thanks for WONDERing! :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • How do historians learn so much about people from the past?
  • What would it be like to write a book about someone you admire?
  • What kind of lives might historical figures lead if they were alive today?

Wonder Gallery

Try It Out

Now that you have conducted your bio-buddy research, it’s time for the real fun! Get your imagination ready to roll.

Have you ever wondered who you might be friends with on Facebook if the Internet had been invented a few years (or centuries) sooner? Creating a profile for your bio-buddy can be a fun way to think about what might have happened if the past met the present.

What kinds of TV shows would George Washington have liked? What songs would Cleopatra have on her iPod? What would Elvis Presley have listed as his interests?

Using the information you gathered while doing your research, imagine you are creating a Facebook profile for your bio-buddy. You can create his or her profile on paper using the profile template below and photos found online.

Gender:
Birthday:
Family:
Current City (Where are you buried?):
Hometown (Where did you live? Where were you born?):
Favorite quote:
Education:
Interests:
Music/movies/TV:
Profile picture:

Your research probably won’t provide you with all the information you need to complete the profile (TV wasn’t even invented when George Washington was alive!), so rely on your imagination to help fill in the blanks.

For example, maybe King Tut would have picked up pyramid decorating tips from HGTV. And we’re pretty sure the sea explorer Jacques Cousteau would have loved Shark Week on the Discovery Channel.

It’s okay to be creative! This part of the activity is about fun, not necessarily fact.

When your bio-buddy’s profile is complete, send Wonderopolis a picture of your work. We’d love to meet your new friend, too!

Email it to [email protected] or send it to:

Wonderopolis HQ
325 West Main Street, Suite 300
Louisville, KY 40202-4237

 

Still Wondering

For more help crafting the perfect biography, try out the Bio-Cube Planning Sheet from ReadWriteThink.org.

 

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Wonder What’s Next?

Tomorrow we’ll discover how the native peoples of northwest America have found an important use for a tree. Meet you back in Wonderopolis!

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