18. A biography

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Task Details

Task details

Name of writing assessment task A biography
EAL student stage range  B2, B3, S2, S3, S4
Text orientation Informative
Task type Extended response


Task Specification

Task specification

Purpose To assess students’ ability to write a biography about a person they admire who they personally know well
Description Students write a biography of a person they admire and who they personally know well, e.g.  mother, father,  teacher, uncle, aunt
Assumed knowledge and description
  1. Content knowledge: The nature and purpose of a biography and the generic structure of biography
  2. Text type, genre: Informative, a biography
  3. Linguistic structures and features:
    • present and past tenses to talk about past and current events, states and achievements
    • time phrases to link events chronologically
    • linking words to justify choice of known person: ‘because’, ‘therefore’, ‘and so’, etc.
  4. Vocabulary: Vocabulary related to describing personality, skills and achievements

 

 


Learning/Teaching Context

 

 

Learning/teaching context

Language Centre/mainstream Class Mainstream class – EAL Support
Subject/key syllabus objectives, outcomes   English
Topic/teaching unit  Biographies
Assessment conditions
  1. Individual activity 
  2. Formal/informal: Formal
  3. Time limit: Flexible
  4. Teacher intervention: Limited to response to student request for clarification and encouragement
  5. Access to resources: Students may use their own personal dictionaries, classroom dictionaries and their own notes 
  6. Scaffolding (modelled/guided/independent support): Independent support
  7. Accommodations: –
Notes
  • The assessment is done on students’ first draft
  • Pre-assessment activities can be extended as appropriate for students

 

 


Task Implementation

 

 

Task implementation

STAGE ACTION STEPS
Pre-assessment activity
  • Teacher and students revise the generic framework and useful language for writing a biography based on a model/s analysed and possibly reconstructed in previous lessons
  • Distribute a biography framework and a blank timeline
  • Click to view framework: Framework and timeline PDF
  • Ask students to think of a person they admire and who they personally know well. They complete the framework and timeline in note form.
Assessment activity
Post-assessment activity
  • In groups students discuss their respective biographies and authors share why they chose to write about this person
  • Students do self and peer feedback
  • Give students time to improve and write a second draft of their biography
  • Once the students’ work has been read, provide individual and whole class feedback on strengths and individual or global improvement steps

 


Assessment Criteria

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Samples of Student Work

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Annotations and Commentary

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