11th Grade

Social Studies Lesson Plans

Classmate Biographies

Title : Classmate Biographies

Author : Zaileen Washington, Harvest Collegiate High School, NYC

Subject Area/ Grade: Entrepreneurship 11th grade students

Students will be assigned a ‘biography partner.’ Each will take turns interviewing each other  about a goal, a past achievement, or an exciting moment in their life that has left a long-lasting  impression on them. The interviewer will then develop a narrative piece of biographical work  that may be a one-act dramatic piece or art piece that tells the biographical story. 


Create a Biography -Students will retell a story shared with them by a classmate they have interviewed

Content Area and Standards

Entrepreneurship – profiles
Standard 11-12R6 
Analyze how authors employ point of view, perspective, and purpose, to shape explicit and implicit messages (e.g., persuasiveness, aesthetic quality, satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement). (RI&RL)


As an entrepreneur it is important for business people to know about you. These people can be financiers, customers, or potential partners.  Who you are often lends strength to your business concept and its potential to succeed.

Students will be assigned  a ‘biography partner’.  Each will take turns interviewing each other about a goal, a past achievement, or an exciting moment in their life that has a long-lasting impression on them.  The students can use questions they have developed to assist them with organizing information or use the attached biographical interviewer questions (choose only the questions you think you need to develop your work) (https://www.unm.edu/~unmvclib/handouts/biographicalquestions.pdf )  Students are to refrain from asking probing questions but instead let the interviewee move at their pace. Why?- As an interviewer you want to maintain objectivity.

After the interview has been completed, the interviewer will develop a draft of the questions and answers obtained in the interview.  Interviewers should use their drafts to develop a narrative piece of biographical work.  They can develop a one-act dramatic piece to tell the story (you can recruit actors or present the work yourself).  Students can also create an art piece that tells the biographical story for them.  The art can be of many forms but must be completed within the timeline presented to the entire class.

The works developed by everyone will be presented within a two-day time frame.  The hope is to have exhibits and performances to showcase in the class.

A student-developed rubric should be used to document a grade for your completed works.

Student Self-Assessment

In general, SSA refers to training students to evaluate their own work for the purpose of improving it (Rolheiser & Ross, 2000). To become capable evaluators of their work, students must have
1. a clear target
2. the opportunity to help create a definition of quality work
3. feedback
4. the opportunity to correct or self-adjust their work before they turn it in

Art Forms that May Be Included

Drama (Acting), Song (storytelling), Drawing/painting/sketching

Connections to Students Passion Areas and Interests

Students are involved in sharing their day-to-day interactions on social media or the text and phone calls.  This is a natural part of their communication with others.  It can involve personal stories or reinterpreted stories of events they witnessed or heard others speak.  This lesson lets them develop another’s story with intent and less interpretation.

Materials Needed

Paper and writing utensils.  They may use digital applications to draw or write. Props may be needed if the author decides to do a drama presentation of their work.


Students- students will work as a whole-class team to develop and approve of the rubric that will be used to assess the completed project.


Emphasis will be placed on effective communication
Rubric – student developed


This segment is part of a larger unit on creating their entrepreneurship profiles.  This lesson will extend the length of five days.  Three days for development and two days of presentation.

Other Notes

The length of the unit does not have to be completed in consecutive days.  The nature of this work will allow students to develop in school and at home as needed.  Students should be given an opportunity to reflect on their drafts and make corrections prior to presentation of their works.