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Midvale Journal

East Midvale biography assignment brings inspiration to students

Mar 29, 2022 09:41PM ● By Julie Slama

An East Midvale fifth-grade student learned Serena Williams is more than a tennis champion, but also a business woman, CEO, mother and more through doing a biography assignment. (Danna Caldwell/East Midvale)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

In East Midvale’s fifth-grade hallway, there have been posters of Harriet Tubman, King Tut, Barack Obama, Serena Williams, Will Smith, George Washington, George Washington Carver, Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt.

“It’s so cute when students put their faces through the posters and so much fun for them to share what they’ve learned,” said fifth-grade teacher Danna Caldwell.

For years, Caldwell has had students create posters with cut-out faces of a famous person that they studied as part of a biography project—and she still delights in the assignment.

The students read a book about the person of choice and need to learn at least six facts or more about the person and then tell the class what they have learned.

“A lot of kids have never talked much in public, so this is one way for them to do so and gain confidence,” she said. “They’re also gaining confidence in their reading ability, and learning about other genres of books, biographies and autobiographies. They also see how these people became who they were, if they struggled, if they attended college, and how they became who we know them to be, and that’s a message I hope they take to heart.”