Lauren Truman
Languages, Literature
Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division, College / Upper Division
  • Autobiography
  • Genre Play
  • Listening
  • Writing
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    English, Spanish
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs, Video




    This lesson is meant to play with the genre of autobiography. It introduces two types of autobiography (reflective and factual) and asks the students to compare and contrast them. Students prepare to write their own autobiography, in the style they prefer. 

    This is a modification of a lesson plan originally created for an intermediate-level Spanish course by Frances Matos Schulz, Jun Takahira, Yoko Hama, Camille Braun, Olga Salazar Pozos, and myself. 


    1. Play “Autobiografía” for the class. Make sure title is hidden.
    2. Have students discuss with a partner: What do you think this song is about? What title would you give to this song? 


    1. Show the title of the song and pass out the lyrics.

    2. Play the song again and have students circle facts about his life. Give students two minutes to discuss in partners: What do we know about Luis Enrique?

    3. Discuss as a class: What do we know about Luis Enrique from his autobiography? How do we know that? (Look at the preterit forms) 

    4. In partners: What does this song include that we don’t usually consider part of an autobiography? Put a square around any elements you see or any lines/stanzas that don’t read like a typical autobiography. What is the purpose of these sections? 

    5. As a class—What atypical elements or lines did you see? What purpose do they serve? What do they add to the autobiography?  (Students should point out the reflections and how they differ from the straightforward autobiographical information.)

    “Mi autobiografía" (Jorge)

    1. Pass out the text "Mi autobiografía." Explain that the class will be looking at a different type of autobiography now. 
    2. Partner activity: read the text once through, don’t worry about translating the words you don’t know. Consider: What kind of information do we get from this text? What information do we not get? (Think about “Autobiografía” as a comparison.) 
    3. As a class—answer the previous questions. Explain that the following day they will compare the two texts more and prepare to write their own autobiography.


    Have students fill out the reflection worksheet in pairs.

    Discuss as a class.


    Have students write their own autobiography. Talk about what elements they would use if they decided to write a reflective autobiography vs. what elements they would use for a factual autobiography.