• CC-Basics pages 172 - 179



  • Identify the form and characteristics of an autobiography

  • Explain how genre affects the meaning and purpose of a text

Key Concept

  • An autobiography is a factual account that a person writes about his or her own life.


Tier 2 Pattern
Tier 3 Autobiography
Test Words Apply

Before Lesson

Students have learned that a biography is the story of a person’s life written by another person. They also learned that biographies emphasize certain events and contain both facts and details. Ask students what information someone might include in a biography. Then ask what they might include if they wrote about themselves. Tell students that a biography written about oneself is called an autobiography.


Tell students that in an autobiography, a person writes about his or her own life from his or her own point of view. Explain that as students read the excerpts, they should write down in their notebooks the techniques the authors use to help readers connect to their stories. Do they use humor, provide vivid descriptive details, or share their feelings and emotions?

Guided Practice

  • Autobiography

Core Skill

Analyze Connections: Have students revisit the diagrams of personal connections that they made at the beginning of the lesson. Explain that students will now be able to trace these relationship connections in an autobiography. Have students write the questions from the sidebar on page 174 in their notebooks, one question per page. Read the first paragraph of the passage aloud. Pause after reading and discuss the questions. Have students write their responses in their notebooks. Repeat the procedure with the second paragraph. Have student volunteers use their notes to give an oral summary of the connections in the passage.

Identify Point of View: Tell students that autobiographies use the first-person point of view, which means the author includes his or her own thoughts and observations. Read the passages with students and pause periodically to have them underline details only the authors could have known. Ask students to read the details aloud and write them on the board. Discuss what the autobiographies might be like without those details.


Summarize: Tell students they can reinforce comprehension of the lesson by summarizing passages. Remind them that a summary includes the main idea and facts, but not all of the details. Pair English language learners with fluent English speakers. Assign one passage to each pair of students. Have them work together to write a two-sentence summary of the passage. Ask students read their summaries aloud.

Assess an Autobiography: Have students think about a time in their lives when they were nervous entering a new situation. Tell them to write an autobiographical paragraph and critically assess whether it would interest readers and how they could improve their writing. Have partners read their paragraphs to each other.

Lesson Review

Write to Learn: Explain that many autobiographies feature people who influenced the author to change Ol’ reach a goal. Tell students that when they are writing their paragraphs about a teacher or another person who had a strong influence on them, they should begin with an interesting sentence that gets the reader’s attention. The details that follow should explain and support the sentence. The paragraph should end with a strong concluding sentence.