Teacher guide Exploring biographical writing

TLF ID R11136

The 'Biography' section of the Civics and Citizenship Education website presents biographical writing as an accessible and lively way to explore Australian history and society. It contains short biographies of prominent Australians, both contemporary and historical, and lesson plans for reading and analysing biographical writing in the classroom The 'Biographical writing' section has links to a biography-writing workshop and to other biographical resources.

Educational details

Educational value
  • Biographical writing provides insights into the lives and motivations of significant and influential people in our communities. It allows for an exploration of the formative experiences that are influential in shaping an individual's political, social and ideological convictions.
  • In the primary lesson plans students examine the lives and values of significant young Australians. They then identify an issue and values that are important to themselves and think about how these might influence their future actions. Students write their autobiography, considering how their values have affected their own lives.
  • The first secondary lesson plan assists students to explore the contribution made by historical figures who have helped achieve civil and political rights in Australia. They consider how such a study could help us effect change. The second lesson plan focuses on the experience of migrants and their contribution to the social, cultural and political life in Australia. Links from the lesson plan pages give access to a range of more detailed biographical sources.
  • A section on biographical writing explains the different forms such writing can take, from simple epitaphs on gravestones to published works on individuals. There is an explanation of the relevance of this form to Civics and Citizenship and Values education. The page provides links to other biographical resources and to the website 'Biography Writer's Workshop'.
  • The Civics and Citizenship Education website includes many examples of biographical writing. Historical biographies contain brief accounts of the lives of significant Australians, highlighting the important milestones in their lives. These are particularly suitable for primary school students. They include prime ministers, explorers and social reformers.
  • The contemporary biographies feature condensed accounts of the lives of influential Australians from politics, sport, the arts, exploration and community activism. Developed for student investigation, they emphasise the characteristics of leadership and social activism, which are important to civics and citizenship participation.
Learning area
  • English
  • Studies of society and environment

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Australian Government Department of Education\, Employment and
  • Organization: Australian Government Department of Education\, Employment and
  • Description: Content provider
  • URL: http://www.civicsandcitizenship.edu.au/cce/
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: Commonwealth of Australia
  • Organization: Commonwealth of Australia
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL: www.esa.edu.au
Access profile
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Learning Resource Type
  • Online
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements.