Life Stories WHAT MAKES A PERSON LARGER THAN LIFE?
Biography and Autobiography What is a biography? • Written in third person • Based on primary and secondary sources • May include details provided by the subject What is an autobiography? • Written in first person • Based on the subject’s memories • May include details provided by others
Point of View • The angle from which the story is told. There are several different types of point of view. We will be focusing on the following: • First person • Third person
First Person Point of View • First Person: Told from the viewpoint of one of the characters in the story, using the first person pronoun “I.” • Example: I really don't understand how Roger could have done this to me when I have loved him for as long as I can remember and I have waited all my life for him to see me. Yesterday when he asked me out I thought I'd literally and completely die with happiness. I really did! And now the whole world is cold and gray and unfeeling and my mother is nagging me to clean up my room. How can she nag me to clean up my room when I feel like dying? Can't I even have the privacy of my own soul?
Third Person Point of View • Third person: A narrator is telling the story. Uses the pronouns “he” and “she.” • Example: Myop carried a short, knobby stick. She struck out at random at chickens she liked and worked out the beat of a song on the fence around the pigpen. She felt light and good in the warm sun. She was ten, and nothing existed for her but the song, the stick clutched in her dark brown hand, and the tat-de-ta-ta-ta of accompaniment.
Memoir What is a memoir? • Autobiographical account written from the first-person point of view. • Describes the subject’s experiences and observations about important people in their lives or events • Often includes the historical context of the subject (information about the society and culture of the time)
Personal Narrative What is a personal narrative? • Autobiographical essay written from the first person point of view • Tells a story about real people and events • A short work of nonfiction that usually deals with a single subject.
Other Elements of Narratives and Personal Narratives • Characters: There is a main character who the narrative is about along with supporting characters who help tell the story. • Setting: The place and time the story takes places, described vividly. • Conflict and Resolution: The problem of the story. A reader will continue reading because they want to see how the problem will be resolved. • Chronological order: The story should occur in a logical order with dates or time words to help the reader understand the order of events.
Let’s Practice • From No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War Walking as we did down the middle of the bridge, I hoped that we were hidden from view. Under our feet this short, solid stone walkway felt like a tightrope. I held my brother’s hand. We will get across, I thought. We will. We had squeaked by in other situations. This was just another adventure. Already, with every step, the distance to the safe side was shrinking. The guards were not looking in our direction. Not yet. • This is an excerpt from a (memoir , biography or autobiography)? How do you know? • Lobel describes her thoughts and feelings as she is crossing the bridge. Where else does she share her thoughts or feelings.
Let’s Practice • From J.K. Rowling by Bradley Steffens J.K. Rowling, as she was becoming known to the world, was pretty well prepared to handle life’s ups and downs. She had equipped herself with a good education, traveled and lived abroad, been married and divorced, given birth to a child, and lost a parent. She had struggled through grim poverty and realized a lifelong dream of publishing a book. • This is an excerpt from an (autobiography or biography)? How do you know? • Name two specific things about Rowling’s life before she became a famous author.
Let’s Practice • From Tony Hawk: Professional Skateboarder I got picked on. I was less than five feet tall when I entered eighth grade, and weighed less than eighty pounds. I was so skinny that I resembled a set of toothpicks walking awkwardly down the hallway. Only my legs had a hint of muscle on them. If I flexed my bicep nothing would pop up – muscle or fat. • This is an excerpt from a (biography,autobiography or memoir)? How do you know? • In what ways does this excerpt change your opinion of the champion skater?
Meet Marian Anderson • Born February 27, 1897, in Philadelphia, Marian Anderson displayed vocal talent as a child, but her family could not afford to pay for formal training. Members of her church congregation raised funds for her to attend a music school for a year, and in 1955 she became the first African American singer to perform as a member of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Page 806-807 Literature Textbook
Your Personal Narrative! • “The Diary of Anne Frank” details a very important event in the life of Anne Frank: her family’s two years spent in hiding from the Nazi’s. While you may not have a major event in your life, now is your turn to write about an event in your life that was important or life changing to you • Assignment: Write a five paragraph autobiographical account (or summary) of a major life-changing event in your life. Your account should be in narrative form with a beginning, middle and end.
Assignment Requirements • At least five paragraphs that include a beginning, middle and end. • Should focus on one true event in your life. • Explain why the event was so important and the impact in had on you. • Should follow the writing process: • Brainstorm worksheet • Outline • Rough draft • Peer edits • Final draft • Final draft should be typed, double-spaced, point 12 font.
Things to keep in mind! • Choose an event that YOU care about. If you don’t care about your story, why should anyone else? • Why is your story important to you? What is your purpose in wanting to tell it? • Have fun! This is your opportunity to share an important part of your life with the world. Don’t waste it!
Begin Brainstorming • Brainstorm 5-10 important events in your life. Think about the moments in your life that have taught you something important or had any special impact on your life.