The academic part of this project focused on learning how to use the grammatical and linguistic features of biography writing, however there was also a strong emphasis on the research and interview techniques in the preparation phase giving them a chance to reconnect with their loved ones.
“They have discovered aspects of their grandparents’ lives that they did not know about before and they are reflecting on the experiences that they have gone through”, explains Ms. Lucy Duval, the English teacher. “After all, the coronavirus is not the only “big” event that has happened in recent History”.
Marriages, trips, studies, births… Children have collected meaningful events that did and did not happen for their elders. “Carmen didn’t go to university. She studied secretarial studies”, states one student’s grandmother’s timeline. “[Margarita] married José at the age of 27. She became independent at the age of 27”, expresses another.
Each biography is different, not only because each person’s life is absolutely unique, but also because in each project the students express what is relevant for them and for the person interviewed, capturing their singular life stories. Children can find their place in them, as they feel linked with their dear ones and acknowledge the importance that these people have in their life:
“I would like to introduce you to my grandma. In this biography (…) you will find out about her life, some stories and anecdotes from her childhood to the present day. I have chosen to write about my grandma because she inspires me to be happy“.
Finally, students have also been writing about themselves, as the authors of the project. These descriptions also reflect the impact that their family and their loved ones (friends and teachers) have in who they are and how they perceived themselves: “[Inés] goes to Kensington School. Her favourite food is “croquetas” from her grandma, tortilla and pasties (empanadillas). (….) Inés likes school because she has fun, learns lots and she has lots of friends”.