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Biography Chat

Subject: Language Arts
Grade: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Brief Description
Students use the television talk-show format to conduct mock interviews with famous people in history.



  • read biographies of famous people in history.
  • develop questions for interviews.
  • work together in cooperative groups.


biography, interview, chat, talk show, history, literature, library, reading

Materials Needed

teacher- or student-selected biographies, paper, pens or pencils, student-selected materials for props or costumes

Lesson Plan


  • Ask students to define the word biography. Provide students with examples of biographies about famous people in history.
  • Organize students into groups of two or three. Assign each group a biography of a famous person.
  • Tell students that each group will present a talk show (a la Oprah Winfrey, Rosie O'Donnell, or David Letterman) about the subject of the biography. One or two of the group members will act as interviewer(s); the other student will be the person in the biography.
  • Tell students to work together to brainstorm questions and responses for the interview. Let students create props or costumes for the talk show. Encourage creativity!
  • Students present their talk shows to the class. Let the student "audience" ask questions during the interview. Extension: Have students expand the interview to include one or more people who played important roles in the lives of the main person in the assigned biography.
    Variation 1: If video-recording equipment is available, have students record their talk-show interviews. Variation 2: Have students develop interviews for the main character of assigned fiction books.


Evaluate students' presentations and abilities to work together in cooperative groups.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Lois Lewis

National Standards

Language Arts: