Who is? Who was?

Amelia Earhart index

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Third graders are starting their biography reports, so to build excitement and to celebrate the addition of 20 new biographies from the wildly popular Who Is…? and Who Was…? series, published by Penguin, we played a quick, fun game in the library before checking out books, using the Apple TV.

Here’s a link to the game:  http://www.whowasbookseries.com/trivia-challenge/

Students were divided into four teams, and each had my new favorite toy to use:  the answer buzzers from Learning Resources.  Then they challenged themselves to choose the correct answer first.  Because it is multiple choice, even if they don’t know the answer, they are able to figure it out by the process of elimination.  Everyone was engaged.

Examples from the game:

This man was a home run king.

Who was Neil Armstrong?
Who was Babe Ruth?
Who was John F. Kennedy?
Who was Daniel Boone?



This woman is a world famous scientist and animal rights activist.

Who is Dolly Parton?
Who is Michelle Obama?
Who is Jane Goodall?
Who is J.K. Rowling?


There are 10 questions in each round, and if your students are having fun, they can play it a second time, and the most of the questions change.

The books are widely available in paperback, but after some searching, I found the books in hardback with library binding on Amazon.  They are easily identifiable by the over-sized heads on the covers, they are all about 100 pages long, include a timeline in the back, and, most importantly, kids love to read them, even when they don’t have a biography report assignment.  

Also, Penguin just announced the contest results to name the 100th book in the Who Was series.  Over 67,000 votes were tallied and winner was STEVE IRWIN.  Look for the book in Summer 2015.