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9th Grade Autobiography Project

The following autobiography project was given to my daughter in high school by her 9th grade teacher, Mrs. Donovan. I thought the project was extremely enlightening. One could use something similar to this in doing a biography of one's ancestors.



A COVER PAGE that visually conveys something about you — could be a collage, a drawing, a collection of family photos — etc.

ILLUSTRATIONS AND A TABLE OF CONTENTS — include as many illustrations as you like, which enhance your pieces individually.

Include in your Table of Contents a title for each piece and its page number.

ADDITIONS – Some students like to add art work, poetry, stories, photographs, etc. to the given assignments. Please make sure all photos are digital or scans.

PART 1: The Tree

Complete three of the following – you are required to do the ones with ** in front of the number.

1. The Day I Was Born – Complete a mini-research project on your birth date.

What 3 significant events happened that day? (250 -350 words)

**2. My Personal Quest– What is your life’s purpose (your quest?) What obstacles, dangers, and challenges do you anticipate as you journey towards your destination? What self-knowledge do you hope to develop as a result of your quest? (350-500 words)

3. Hidden Self Poem — Everyone projects a certain idea of who they are to others while hiding part of their true selves behind a mask. Only you know who you truly are. In the first two stanzas of your poem, talk about the you others see. In the last two stanzas of your poem, talk about the parts that you keep hidden behind your public mask. (30+ lines)

4. Best and Worst Experience — Retell an experience you would never want to repeat for $1,000,000 AND one you would pay a $1,000,000 just to relive. (350-500 words)

5. Show and Tell — Choose an object in your room which, in some way, reveals something about your core personality. Explain this item its relevance — why and how it is a part of you. (250-350 words)

**6. And the Band Played On — Choose a piece of music which could be your personal theme song. Copy down the lyrics (if it has lyrics) give the title, artist and then in two paragraphs explain why this piece of music is meaningful to you and what it says about your personality and beliefs. (250-350 words)

7. Two Most Significant Firsts –Explain anything which was a first, from mastering a skill to learning a lesson — what are the two most significant moments and why? (250-500 words)


Complete three of the following assignments:

1. Once Upon A Time . . . Write a fictionalized account of how your parents met. This means that you take the REAL story and change the names and places to protect the innocent. J (300-500 words)

2. Interview your oldest surviving relative. What changes has he or she seen in your family during his/her lifetime? What does he/she know about your cultural heritage? What is his/her advice for kids of this generation? (300-500 words)

3. Family Trunk — Most families have storage places where old mementos are gathered. Explore your storage area, an old trunk or grandparents’ memory boxes or basements, and see what stories unfold when you discover and ask about certain objects. Choose two objects of particular interest and discuss what it is and why it’s significant in two paragraphs. (300-500 words)

4. Customs — Every culture has important customs — for some it is Sweet Sixteen, for others it is Christmas, still others may celebrate Ramadan. Choose a custom and/or a holiday that is important in your culture and write 2 pages describing all the elements of this custom or holiday. (300-500)

5. What’s cookin’? Choose a favorite family recipe and prepare it. Copy down the recipe and write a detailed description of your attempts to recreate this family masterpiece in the kitchen.

I am most like my . . — Choose a family member you have inherited the most qualities from. Explain who you are most like and why you think that is.

PART THREE — BRANCHES: Complete three of the following assignments

1. A letter to the past. We have found a way to send back mail to the people we were earlier in our lives. Write a letter, following proper block-style letter format, giving information or advice to yourself at an earlier age — what do you wish you had known then that you know now? (250-300 words)

2. Future Journal Entry : In a future fictional journal, describe and record a momentous occasion which has just happened in your life and reflect on this event. Contemplate how you got to this future station in your life, what are your regrets, and what are your successes? (250-300 words)

3. Values — Write a 2 page essay describing one value (not a material possession, but a concept or idea – such as ambition, or honesty) you would like to pass along to your own children and explain how you would pass along that value. (250-300 words)

4. I Have A Dream — In a 30+ line poem (that does not rhyme!!!!) or a 2 page essay, describe the dream you have for your future.

5. ** (Everyone MUST Do this one — we’ll be drafting it in class together) Reflection and Evaluation — Your last entry. Write this as a 2 page letter addressed to to your teacher. Follow block style format Write about the process of creating your autobiographical portfolio. What did you learn about yourself as a writer? What was difficult? What was easy? What did you like the most? What grade do you think this portfolio deserves and why?