Hot Seating – Biography

Topic: Biography 
CLI Strategy: Hot Seating 
Subject: ELA
Grade: Upper Elementary 

Students will be able to: Take on a role and use their knowledge of a historical figure to explore ideas around the figure’s life and impact on their community and history. 


  • Brainstorm questions with the class that students would want to ask the historical figure.
  • Choose a student or group of students to go into role as the historical figure.
  • Count down from three to zero to help the students make the transition into role. Model asking questions; then ask class to interview the students in role as the historical figure.
  • Reflect with questions that ask students to describe, analyze, relate, such as:
    • What new information did we learn about this person?
    • What information from the text helped us make those inferences?
    • How can we relate to this person?


  • Have students write a journal entry from the perspective of the historical figure.

Scaffolding For Success

  • Record brainstormed questions on the board for students to use during interview.
  • Remind hotseated students to act and respond like their character, not themselves.

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