Explore the D'Aulaire classics and be duly inspired by larger-than-life people who impacted the shaping of America. In 5 short weeks, Blackbird & Company guides will walk upper elementary and middle school (grades 4-8) writers through the process of composing an original biographical essay. Weeks 1 - 3 activities introduce a rich vocabulary to describe the character traits exemplified by these historical figures, provide observation questions designed to help students extract details that matter, and equip students with the scaffolding that enables them to craft one body paragraph that will later become part of the culminating essay. During week 4 students craft a simple introduction and conclusion, put the components together, and, viola, an essay! There is a fifth week creative project, of course, that offers directives to tap into the students imagination.