Today’s tool is a good one to use if you are having students research an historical figure, author, or scientist or draw a portrait of a character in a novel or story. It can also help them develop a biography or autobiography. Tips: 1. Have your students select a person or character that is important for your unit. 2. Students should review the life of that person or character, identifying specific events or factors that contributed to his or her personality or view of life. They should choose something for each stage of life. If a fictional character is chosen, the student might create a biography for that character, using clues about the subject that would help support the fictional background. Teachers need to help students make choices about the details they choose to include. 3. Explain why or how each of the details or factors chosen had an effect on the person’s life or the kind of person he or she became. 4. After completing the chart, students can use it to write a biography. Ideas: 1. Before having the students complete the chart for an historical figure or character, let them practice by thinking through their own life. 2. Define the stages of life by age so that all students understand the stages in the same way. 3. In lieu of a paper, let students present their biographies in speeches or nonlinguistic ways such as posters, storyboards, or other visual methods.