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My Alphabetical Autobiography


  • Language Arts
  • Visual Arts
  • Ed Technology


  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

Students of all ages will benefit from reflect on and chronicle their lives from A to Z.


  • create a pictorial autobiography using the letters from A to Z.
  • develop narrative writing skills.
  • plan/create visual images that represent significant life events and interests.


narrative, writing, autobiography, ABC book, icebreaker

Materials Needed

  • drawing paper, writing paper
  • art supplies, as needed
  • scanner (optional)

The Lesson

Have students write the 26 letters of the alphabet down the left-hand side of a sheet of writing paper. Then have them think of a word or phrase that expresses something important in their lives -- an event, a person, a skill, a favorite something, a word that describes them

For Younger Students
Young students might select, or be assigned, 2 or 3 letters to plan, write, and illustrate. Combine all students efforts to create a nice A to Z bulletin board display.

For Older Students
Upper elementary and older students might plan to create A to Z books in which each letter stands for a word or phrase about them. They might write a sentence or a paragraph to explain the importance of each word/phrase that was chosen. (Caption length will vary by grade/ability level.) They might include photos, artifacts, or drawings to bring the pages of their books to life. They might be required to use technology (computers, a digital camera, a scanner).

If this becomes a major student project, you will want to provide students with a timeline that details when they should have their draft/design plan completed and deadlines for captions/narratives and drawings/images. The timeline might require students to hand in pages A to H one week, I to P the next week, and Q to Z the final week.

If students create personal ABC books, you might have each student

  • design an original cover page.
  • come up with a title for her/his book.
  • share his/her book with classmates.

In addition, you might videotape the students' oral presentations and create a CD of the best books and/or book pages.

This lesson is a nice self-esteem builder. It can also make a good getting-to-know-you activity at the start of the school year.


Assess student work based upon originality, neatness, writing, organization, and other key elements of your curriculum. If the students give oral presentations, you might assess their tone, volume, pace, word choice, and eye contact with the audience.

Submitted By

Leah Bivins, Colfax Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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