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Writing Autobiographies

Students in my computer classes learn how to format reports by writing their own autobiographies. They begin by drawing a 'map' on a plain sheet of paper that I do with them on overhead. In the top right they draw their birth hospital, and in the bottom right they draw the school. In between, they draw the 'highway of life' complete with significant events in their lives as signs along the way. These signs become the side headings of their papers to help them to stay on topic. We make a formal title page together and students are encouraged to add graphical displays. They are directed to use all the features of the word processing program, including the thesaurus, at least once per page. They are also directed to reflect upon the happy moments of their lives and tell no family business. I tell them it is a celebration of their lives to read to their own children some day. For extra credit, I encourage students to create picture displays of their lives that I put up on the walls of the classroom. I get lots of visitors to see these displays.


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