How to Use Biographies as Teaching Strategies

As much as kids like to read about the high-flying adventures of Harry Potter, the Divergent Series, or any of the other popular fiction reads popular these days, they can be equally as jazzed about  events that really happened.
But true-to-life stories, like those told in biographies, can also capture the imagination of kids, with these kinds of stories offering up tales of valuable life lessons.
Today on, frequent contributing writer Janelle Cox, herself a seasoned elementary school educator based on the East Coast, takes a look at some of the benefits of using teaching strategies that emphasize biographies.
The benefits she notes include that biographies teach about real people, and that they make history come alive.
Powerful biographical subjects that Janelle recommends include:
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • James Madison
  • Martha Washington
  • Rosa Parks
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • And More!

Janelle sums up her article like this: “Nonfiction books offer children exciting real adventures, stories of inspiration where lessons can be learned, and lives can be changed. Biographies about real people offer something fiction books cannot: The secret to success is within one’s self.”
What are your favorite nonfiction books for children? Please share your favorites in the comment section, we would love to hear what you have to say.
Technology in the Classroom: Edit Videos Like a Rock Star
We’ve got a rare twofer of content on today! Our second article, penned by West Coast tech teacher Jacqui Murray, takes a look at the technology in the classroom communication methods afforded by the use of videos, specifically, how to edit videos for classroom use.
Jacqui begins by offering up brief synopses of five useful video editing and formatting tools, and continues on with a list of academic videos for you to use in class, including:
  1. Kids Know It Network -- free videos for kids on lots of academic topics.
  2. LearnersTV -- thousands of downloadable video lectures on academic topics.
  3. Math TV -- short videos for students on math skills.
  4. National Geographic Video -- a huge collection of well-done science videos.