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S I T E     R E V I E W
SEPTEMBER, 1997

A
Biography Maker
http://www.bham.wednet.edu/bio/biomaker.htm
GRADE LEVEL: 5-12

A CONTENT:
The Biography Maker is an online, step-by-step process for writing great biographies.

A AESTHETICS:
The background resembles notebook paper, which adds to the "homework" theme of the site.

A ORGANIZATION:
The information is divided into 5 sections, each of which is available from the main page. Because the site involves following steps, the overall navigation tends to move forward but users could use their browser's back button to move backwards within the site. There is also is a link to the home page of the sponsor of the site.

REVIEW:
At first glance it might appear that this Web site does all the work for you. The site is set up as a process to be followed but it does make the user provide answers and information in order to complete the procedure. The basic concept behind the site is to "inspire lively story telling and vivid writing..." while following a biography structure. The steps begin with a questioning phase; move through learning, synthesis and story-telling elements; and end with "Six Traits of Effective Writing." There is a lot to learn here and this would be a great site for teachers to use in class for several days while students write biographies. It could also be used by students on their own.