Lesson Plan


In this lesson plan, the traditional autobiography writing project is given a twist as students write alphabiographies—recording an event, person, object, or feeling associated with each letter of the alphabet. After the entry for each letter in their alphabiographies, students sum up the stories and vignettes by recording the life lessons they learned from the events. (from NCTE, ReadWriteThink.org.


  • Language Arts > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8


writing autobiography



Access Privileges:

Public - Available to anyone

License Deed:

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0


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Curriki Rating
On a scale of 0 to 3
On a scale of 0 to 3

This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 3, as of 2009-03-08.

Component Ratings:

Technical Completeness: 3
Content Accuracy: 3
Appropriate Pedagogy: 3

Reviewer Comments:

This wonderful resource uses James Howe’s Totally Joe to spur discussion and launch an “alphabiorgraphy” writing project. Totally Joe is about a boy who deals with many adolescent issues—friendships, school, and coming to terms about his homosexuality. Using a piece from the book as an example, students are asked to write about a person, place, thing, or event for each letter of the alphabet, and synthesize the stories by writing the life lessons they have learned from each alphabiography. Students choose what has been important in their lives and make connections between their lives, prior knowledge and texts, so the writing is authentic and natural. While some of the resources referred to as examples don’t seem to be accessible, their descriptions are vivid enough, that facsimiles of these examples could be easily created. This lesson is part of the of the NCTE/IRA website ReadWriteThink, based on standard and represents best practice in literacy education.

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