COLUMN: Biographies as mentors for our students

Tommy Fairweather
Special to The Log
Published: Sunday, December 29, 2013 at 03:41 PM.

Thomas Carlyle once said, “No great man lives in vain.  The history of the world is but the lives of great men.” I might add, “And great women.”  Most eminent individuals have biographies written about them and we can learn by studying their lives.  Today’s young people can begin to set courses for their own lives after reading about people who have made a difference in the past. I will outline some of the information that young people should look for when reading a biography so you as parents can help guide their reading.

Usually biographies and autobiographies are written chronologically, making it easy to find out what the individual did as a child. If you help your child formulate questions that are to be answered while reading, it will help the child be more focused. Examples could be:

What were the traits of this person as a child? (Familiarize your child with the meaning of “traits.” Examples are: perseverance, creativity, and visionary.)

What did the parents do for a living?

What hobbies did the parents have?

What hobbies did the individual have?

What activities did the person enjoy when young?

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