Ideas for Students and Teachers

Many of the ideas listed here came from students and teachers who have used the Biographical Dictionary as a study and classroom resource.

Studying a specific historical era
When studying specific periods in history, a popular assignment is to write about someone who lived during that period. The Biographical Dictionary can give you a selection of people to choose from. For example, if you are studying the Reformation you can search the database.

Contemporaries of an author
After reading the works of one author in class, class members are given individual assignments to read a work by a contemporary of that author. By searching the Biographical Dictionary you can find the names of other authors and their major works. For example, to find 18th century authors and their major works you can use Keyword author .

Less well known sports figures
One sure way to expand knowledge is to find a kernel of interest and build on it. Sports and sports figures are a kernel of strong interest for many students. Use the Biographical Dictionary to go beyond the popular sports, such as basketball, by searching out notable figures in less well known sports. For example, search the database with Keywords like mountaineer or cyclist. Who knows what you might find.

Black History
The Biographical Dictionary cites important ‘firsts’ and other major achievements by Blacks. To find these accomplishments use Keywords such as black or first black

Women’s studies
The Biographical Dictionary doesn’t include gender for every person in the database, but it does cite important ‘firsts’ by women. To find these accomplishments use Keywords first woman.

Create your own mini- dictionary
It took years of intensive research to create this Biographical Dictionary, but you could create a miniature version of your own. Your version might include the members of a club, scout troop, or your school. One way to avoid complex programming is to use a word processor program, such as Microsoft Word, to hold your information because those programs have built-in search capabilities. They also let you include graphics to make your work visually attractive. When your dictionary is complete you can give copies of it to people on floppy disk.

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