Activity: Making an Impact
During this activity, students will reflect on the notion of "having an impact" and "leaving a legacy". They will deconstruct a piece of journalism that reflects on the concept of "biography", and use it as a starting point to judge their own actions and telescope into the future.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
- One 45-minute classroom period
- An area of your classroom to devote to "biography"
- TV and/or VCR/DVD player, if desired
- Student copies of Sheet 10: Biography
WHAT TO DO
Over the course of week or so, ask students to gather together biographical material: books, magazine articles, profiles, extended obituaries (such as those published in The Globe and Mail; www.theglobeandmail.com/liveslived). If possible, have a recording of a biography (www.biography.com or www.biographie.net), or something closer to the students' lives (a MuchMusic/Musique Plus profile on a particular musician, for example), and watch it (or parts of it) with your students. Create a section in your classroom for the biographies.
Brainstorm with your students about the types of information that are usually included in a biographical piece. List these on the board. Introduce the terms "legacy", "impact", "negative impact", and "reverse impact" (i.e., the impact if the person had NOT done what they did). Are photos important to a biography? Spoken word? Interviews with other people about the person being profiled?
Ask students to research and write a newspaper-type article about someone they know (not necessarily a famous person), living or dead, using Sheet 10: Biography to help them. Students should interview at least one person, and their profile should include a photo and information about the subject's early life, achievements, impact, and legacy.
When the students have completed this task, post their biographies in the classroom.