You are a reporter for the local newspaper, and your assignment is to write a week long special on Great Canadians. Your biographies are to be on different types of Canadians. You will choose five Canadians to write about.
In order to have your assignment finished on time, you will be working with a team of other writers. Each writer will work on a different biography telling the story of a famous Canadian. Each writer will chose a Canadian from different fields so that your readers will get a broad picture of Canada and the people who have made it such a great country. In addition, your readers will learn about someone who you think is famous in their own way, and you feel deserves to be included on the list of famous Canadians; perhaps someone in your family.
Using word processors, your finished product will be a special Canadian newsletter highlighting the lives of famous Canadians. You will also include a picture of your famous Canadian. Once all biographies are complete we will videotape you in your role as a news reporter reporting on your famous Canadian.
A biography is the story of someone's life. Not only should it describe the events and facts that took place during that person's lifetime, it also tells a good story. A chronological listing of events can reveal a lot of information, but it may not be very interesting to read. Telling the story of someone's life can make for fascinating reading.
Along with the members of your newspaper team, decide which categories of endeavours you will include in your newspaper report on famous Canadians. There are many categories from which to choose your famous Canadian. Your famous person may be a scientist, inventor, athlete, author, composer, explorer, musician, hero, or politician to name only a few.
Choose the Canadian that you will be writing about. With the other members of your team, decide who will be responsible for researching the information in each biography category. Remember that each member of the team will choose a Canadian from a different category so that your newspaper feature will tell the story of Canadians that are famous in different walks of life.
Using the Internet resources listed below, begin to research the life of your famous Canadian. In the introduction section of your article, you will reveal to the reader the basic facts of your Canadian's life. While it is important for the reader to know when this Canadian lived, where he/she lived, what the background details of his/her life are, this is not the major focus of the biography. The reader will be interested mostly in the story of how and why this Canadian became famous. This story, which will bring your famous Canadian "to life", will be the main focus of your article.
As you research the life of your famous Canadian, keep in mind the following questions:
- What did he/she do to become famous?
- What values (something that a person considers important enough to do something about) shaped this person's life and achievements?
- What choices or decisions did this person make which led to his/her notoriety?
- In what way(s) did the actions of this person benefit or influence others?
- What were the major obstacles that this person had to overcome?
- Why should we be proud of this person's achievements?
You are required to use at least three different sources of information in the development of the biography. In other words, if you are using online resources only, then you will be expected to use at least three different web sites for researching your famous Canadian. Your sources of information on your famous Canadian do not have to be limited to online resources. In addition to online resources, you may use books, encyclopedias, cd rom disks, newspapers etc. Make sure that you write down the name of the source or internet page from which you get your information.
Using a word processor, begin to write the biography. Keep in mind that the first part of your story will introduce the reader to your famous Canadian. The main part of the story will describe the challenge, situation or problem that he/she had to deal with. The resolution of your story describes how your Canadian resolved/solved the problem, and what were the consequences/benefits of his/her resolution of the problem.
Choose a Canadian famous to you. This might be a parent, friend, teacher, relative, or local personality who has influenced your life or made a difference in your community. Using the same process that you developed in writing about your famous Canadian, tell the story of why this friend, relative etc. is famous to you and publish this biography in your group newsletter along with the biographies written by the other members of your group.
Keep track of all your sources of information in a bibliography.
Writing a Bibliography
A bibliography is a list of books and other sources that you have used in your research. Keep track of the resources as you use them so that you can create a bibliography of resources. You will include it at the end of your project.
Click on the links below to find information on your famous Canadian.
Sporting Lives: Images of Canadian Athletes
Canadian Celebrities Site
World Book Encyclopedia
Famous Canadians Theme Page
Snapshots of "Should Be" Famous Canadians
Well Known People Who Happen to Be Canadian
Lives, the Biography Resource
Canadian Inventors And Scientists
Great Canadian Scientists
Prime Ministers of Canada
First Among Equals: The Prime Minister
CBC Archives : Famous Canadians
Includes links to text, tv clips, and radio clips about Canadians who have
>made a difference
Links to web information about dozens of famous Canadians from all areas
Well Known People Who Happen to Be Canadian
Long list of Canadians who have achieved international recognition
Famous French Canadians
"The Canadian French-speaking world and some of the Canadians who
contributed to its greatness." Almost three dozen profiles. Bilingual
Kids' Stop: Aboriginal People Profiles
"Learn more about the lives and contributions of some prominent Aboriginal
people in Canada - devoted individuals who have made a real difference in
their fields: writers, actors, musicians, athletes and more!" Bilingual.
Good for Early and Middle Years students
Dictionary of Canadian Biography
Search or browse the Dictionary of Canadian Biography/Dictionnaire
biographique du Canada (DCB/DBC). Contains information about people who
lived before 1930
Search by author's last name to find a bibliography of the author's work.
Many but not all authors also have their web sites and online interviews
listed as well. The site includes lots of YA and children's authors. A few
notable authors are missing such as Miriam Toews. You may want to consult
the Manitoba Writers' page at
Canadian Prime Ministers
One of the best sources of information about Canadian Prime Ministers.
Heroes of Yore and Lore: Canadian Heroes in Fact and Fiction
Not many biographies, but what is there is very well presented at this
National Library of Canada site. It is most suitable for Early and Middle
Years students. Bilingual
Famous Canadians Theme Page