The month of March and its celebration of Women’s History offer educators a variety of opportunities to keep students interested in biography study. This is the second post in our series about using e-books for delving into thought-provoking, page-turning biographies, we highlight some ideas for introducing students to the amazing female super heroes whose absorbing life stories richly illustrate the lasting difference they have made in our society and culture.
One of our most popular e-books, Hillary Clinton: America’s Most Influential Female Politician, part of Britannica’s Beginner Bios e-book series, is a must-read for primary students. In this book, they’ll explore her historic ascent from influential lawyer and First Lady of Arkansas to First Lady of the United States, New York Senator, U.S. Secretary of State, and now the Democratic front-running nominee for President in 2016.
In addition to examining Clinton’s life story, this title is a great tool for teaching young students about nonfiction text features, such as chapter and section headings, side bars, and photo captions, and how they are helpful in reading comprehension. Here’s a useful Text Treasure Hunt graphic organizer to incorporate into your lesson on nonfiction text features using this e-book!
You can also use this e-book to introduce primary students to the concepts of claim and evidence. Start with the claim that “Hillary Clinton is America’s most influential female politician.” Then, have students collect evidence from the text that supports the claim. This Claim/Reason/Evidence graphic organizer is simple enough for students at this level to work with.
For older students, the Britannica e-book, Top 101 Remarkable Women, features women from all walks of life and is another great example of informational text or a starting point for in-depth research. Ask students to read about a woman featured in this title and pretend that this individual had a smartphone or tablet. Encourage students to imagine what apps they would have and also create a text message thread with a colleague about an event in their lives. For example, what apps would Amelia Earhart have on her smartphone? What would her text messages be about?
On a larger scale, consider hosting a Women’s History Trivia Night for students and their parents. Select appropriate e-book biographies from your library so participants can prepare for the game or look up the information during the evening. Or have a daily “That’s What She Said” contest in your classroom, offering a new take on the Quote or Word of the Day bell-ringer activity. For each day during the month, one student presents a quotation to the class from a noteworthy woman and the rest of the students try to guess who said it.
Click here to learn more about these or Britannica’s other biography titles. They’re available via our new annual subscription plan for unlimited use or can be purchased for perpetual access.
We’re on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We’d love to hear about your successful ideas for using e-book biographies with students!