Let's Explore

lets-explore.net/blog · Nov 13, 2014

Creative Book Reports :: Biography Posters

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We have some serious catching up to do! There have been first and twelfth birthdays celebrated, big stacks of share-worthy books read, and many interesting projects completed. If the baby-napping gods are kind to me, I’ll be visiting this space more often in the days to come. Fingers crossed!

Let’s just jump right in with a book report project my girls had a blast working on – colorful and informational biography posters. This is actually a project we did at the end of last school year. You know, when summer-itis started to set in (yes, even us homeschoolers feel it!). My girls usually enjoy reading biographies, and they love art projects, so this was a win-win in their minds.

First they each read a biography – Natalie read about Alexander Graham Bell and Delaney read about Leonardo da Vinci. As they read, they used sticky notes to mark pages with interesting facts they might want to use on their posters.

When it’s poster-making time, find and print a photograph (or painting/illustration) of your person. We found our photos on Wikipedia and printed on glossy photo paper. Cut out your photo, place it in the center of your paper, and lightly trace around it. Set the photo aside for now.

Using a ruler, draw lines from your traced outline to the edge of the paper, creating wedge-shapes around your paper. My girls said it was kind of like making the sun’s rays.

Write a fact about your person in each section. I wanted the girls to include the person’s name and time period, but other than that I left it to their discretion. I actually love the mix of quirky facts and major accomplishments they came up with.

Either write in pencil first and trace with a Sharpie, or just go for it with the Sharpie. My girls are not the “go-for-it” type, so they did the tracing method.

Trace over the section lines with crayons or oil pastels. (We love the quality and price of the Crayola oil pastels.)

Grab your watercolors and paint each section. Nice and colorful!

When the paint is dry, glue your photo down. We definitely oohed and ahhed over these colorful posters. What a fun way to document and share our learning!

Here are a few variations you could try:

  • Make an autobiography one about yourself. (We are totally doing this!)
  • Write your facts in chronological order around the photo.
  • Include a famous quote or two.
  • Make a grid instead of wedges for your facts.

In case you are interested, here are the biographies that the girls read. They both really enjoyed their choices!

Always Inventing: A Photobiography of Alexander Graham Bell (National Geographic) – This book has amazing photographs, drawings, and quotes.

Leonardo: Beautiful Dreamer by Robert Byrd – Beautiful, detailed illustrations with many interesting tidbits about Leonardo.

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