August 11, 2015

Buddy Bio Poems: Partner Poetry Writing

Buddy Bio Poems is a terrific activity that's a content-based writing lesson AND a fun icebreaker!
Imagine yourself in a new classroom during the first week of school. Unless your teacher starts off with at least a few getting-to-know you activities, it might be weeks before you feel comfortable enough to talk with your classmates and actively participate in lessons. 

On the other hand, if you're lucky enough to have a teacher who does start off with icebreaker activities, you'll settle in and be ready to learn in no time! 

The only problem from the teacher's standpoint is that it can be challenge to find meaningful icebreakers that don't feel like a complete waste of time. That's why you'll appreciate this partner poetry lesson! Having students write Buddy Bio Poems is a perfect way to integrate a content-based writing lesson with a fun icebreaker! In this lesson, each student interviews a partner to gather facts and information about his or her classmate. Then each person composes a short bio poem to share what he or she learned during the interview.

My Buddy Bio Poem idea began as a simple back-to-school activity based on my Bio Poems Made Easy freebie. However, as I began to write out the directions and create the printables to go with the lesson, I realized that the activity is something you can do any time during the year! If you like the Buddy Bio Poems concept, feel free to adapt the printables in that freebie to use with the activity. 

Ready-to-Use Buddy Bio Poems Lesson
On the other hand, if you're short on planning time or don't want to bother creating your own printables, you can purchase the ready-to-use Buddy Bio Poems pack shown below from my TpT store. If you'd like a closer look at what's in this packet, click here to see a complete preview.  Buddy Bio Poems includes complete teacher directions, a sample bio poem, buddy interview questions, a list of character traits, a bio poem planning page, and a variety of decorative writing papers for the final poems. In other words, I've done all the work for you, and all you have to do is print what you need and have fun teaching the lesson!

Sharing Buddy Bio Poems
Did I mention that bio poems make a terrific bulletin board display, perfect for open house? :-) One option is to add a student photo to the final version of each poem as shown in the example below. If you choose this option and post the finished products on a bulletin board or wall, your students will learn each other's names in no time! The poems can also be laminated and bound together to create a class book to keep in a literacy center for students to read at their leisure. Or you could scan the poems, convert them to PDF files, and create a digital ebook to publish on a class website or blog. 

Included in Laura Candler's Poetry Combo!
If you've already purchased my Poetry Combo, I have good news for you! Because I just added Buddy Bio Poems to that combo, those who already own it can download this new addition absolutely free! Go to your My Purchases page on TpT and search for this product, then download the file again.

In addition to being a fun back-to-school icebreaker, the Buddy Bio Poems activity would be a fun lesson during the hectic days before a holiday or as an introductory lesson for a poetry unit. No matter when you do this activity, your students will be proud of their poems and will enjoy learning fun facts about their classmates!


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