QE2 cover

Y1 and Y2:
Non-fiction biography reading
(with optional writing recount activity)

In this session I offer a biography reading using one of my many KS1 biographies (see below for some of the KS1 biographies I usually bring with me). The class votes for which biography they would like me to read (Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole, Vincent van Gogh and Queen Elizabeth II are firm favourites).

Learning objectives
Listening and responding, questioning, chronological writing (if you follow up the reading with a writing activity).

Size of group
Works best with a small group – ideally fewer than 30.

Duration – short talk and reading
About 45 minutes.

Duration – writing recount activity
About 60 minutes.
Note: This is an optional activity to follow the reading, using a storyboard worksheet.


Ideas for follow-up activities

  • Independent work: Children recount the biography in their own words and pictures.
  • Paired / partner work: 'My Friend' – children find out about their friends and make biographies of them.
  • Discussion: Understand the difference between biography and autobiography.
Biography reading 1 Biography reading 2 Biography reading 3
Florence Nightingale Mary Seacole Beatrix Potter Brunel
Roger Hargreaves Sojourner Truth Vincent van Gogh Queen Elizabeth II

Galleries of children's work
Click to see examples of work based on this session:

Y2 work based on biography recounts