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Part of Nancy Polette's Fact or Fiction Series
Texas Legacy Award Winner 2005
Use one of the collages in the Gallery of Celebrities with your students as a motivator to guess which famous people you’ll be reading about. Get a glimpse of the early life of well-known people in different professions. What do the experiences of these people tell us about persistence, perseverance, resolve, determination, achievement, accomplishment, victory and success? Enjoy the humor of Steele’s caricatures – writers, entertainers, musicians, sports figures, inventors, scientists, presidents, and military and world leaders, and discover how life experiences influenced their successes. Was Steven Spielberg REALLY rejected from film making school? Did over 25 publishers REALLY turn down Dr. Seuss’ first book? And JFK was class president at Harvard . . . wasn’t he? Were Cher’s first records REALLY flops? Was Winston Churchill REALLY last in his class? And Henry Ford invented the automobile . . . didn’t he? What struggles did Tom Cruise and George Patton have in common? Walt Disney, Lucille Ball, Elvis Presley, and Clint Eastwood all share an early experience that may have helped them become famous. What was it? What common school experience did Bill Gates and Orville and Wilbur Wright all share?
Loyal Customer –
Gifted or Goof Off? Fact & Fiction of the Famous takes a different perspective on the traditional biography. The book briefly profiles thirty different famous individuals by first providing an illustrated caricature of the individual as well as a statement that may or may not be true about that individual. When you flip to the opposite side of the page containing the caricature, the statement is verified as either fact or fiction and a brief background reveals the truth about that individual and the factional/fictional statement. For example, a stern faced caricature of Clint Eastwood is presented along with the following statement, “Clint Eastwood was fired by Universal Studios because he couldn’t act.” On the flip side of the page you find out that this is indeed “Fact” and you can read a brief biography of how Clint Eastwood overcame obstacles in his path to success.
The biographies are interesting and often times reveal information that is not well known about the individual. Did you know that Alexander Graham Bell invented the comic book? This book could probably be used in a middle school classroom, because the words and sentence structure are fairly easy to follow, but might be to low-level for high-school age students. This book in particular could be a useful in a fairly recent form of education for gifted students known as bibliotherapy. During this process a gifted student selects a historical individual and studies how the overcame challenges that they faced. The purpose is to help talented students realize that successful people, like themselves, faced difficulty and derision as before they became famous. This book might serve as a good starting point for that type of work.
Loyal Customer –
The book presents 30 mini biographies of well known individuals past and present. These individuals represent writers, entertainers, musicians, sports figures, and inventors. It also includes presidents and military and world leaders such as Winston Churchill.
Each mini biography is one page. It provides some basic information about the person. In addition to information about the individual’s contribution to the country/world, it also provides a “quirky” or unusual piece of information about that individual. The biographical page also contains a caricature of the individual.
To whom would this book appeal? It appeals to elementary level students between fourth and fifth grades. The combination of the easily read text and caricatures would probably capture their attention. The unusual snippets of information would capture their interest. It would serve to spur further in depth research by a student who could use this as a springboard for further exploration, presentation or even role play. The sky could become the limit for further exploration.
This one book of 30 mini biographies could be a great source of ideas for any teacher in any classroom. It can be used in several subject areas. The possibilities are just about endless!