Reinventing the Biography

I am still mulling over Patrick Ledesma's article "Student Choice: An Important Step for Meaningful Technology Integration," and applying that notion of having an authentic purpose and audience to what I'm currently reading, "Reinventing Project-Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age." This is my second time reading the book, and on page 48 stopped at their simple notion of how to spice up the traditional biography assignment:

The traditional biography looks something like this: Research a famous person from the 20th Century and write a report describing his/her achievements.

The reinvented biography looks something like this: Research several figures from the 20th Century who were distinguished in the same field. "Develop criteria for 'hall of fame' status, compare these figures' accomplishments, then select one individual for inclusion in a '(20th Century) Hall of Fame.' Justify your selection. Design an appropriate seal for the award he or she will be granted," (Reinventing PBL, page 48).

I loved their idea! Of course, this reinvented biography could go so many different directions such as setting up a blog for this 20th Century Hall of Fame and welcoming comments and critiques. What are your thoughts about this? How do you envision this biography project being presented in your class? How could you reinvent the biography?


  1. I just found your blog via the Edublogs Teacher Challenge, and wow, am I glad!

    This biography project is wonderful - it's one of those "Why didn't I think of that?" I teach history and am always trying to find ways in which to get my students doing more with technology than just surfing YouTube. Thanks for the idea and the book link!

  2. Hi iteachhistory!

    I love history. What grades do you teach? I'm not sure if any of my bookmarks would be relevant to you, but feel free to take a look.

    Thanks for commenting on my post. I agree, their idea of how to spice up the common biography really hit home and got my mind thinking of more similar ideas. If you haven't read their book, I highly recommend it. This is my second time reading it, but this time I'm seeing new ideas as I prepare a professional development class based on their book. I'm very excited about it.

    Again, thanks for the comment. It is so much fun to "meet" new people and learn together through the Edublog Teacher Challenge.

    Kind regards,


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