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Category Archives: Biography and autobiography
Enjoy reading some of your great biographies of Charles Darwin.
Charles Darwin was born in 1809 in Shrewsbury. His dad worked at the hospital and his mum died when he was only eight years old. Charles Darwin was famous for finding animals that no-one had seen before.
At an early age, that was 9, he went to school and got called Gas for making experiments in the garden shed. He also had four sisters and one brother named Erasmus.
He also did a club named the Gourmet Club. He ate all different kinds of animals like birds and beasts and he also ate an old brown owl. He thought it was so bad, he said it was indescribable!
When Charles Darwin got older, he finally married his cousin Emma Wedgwood and had ten children. He also went out to sea on HMS Beagle with 75 other men. He went to the Galapagos Islands. When he got back he liked spending half an hour every day playing backgammon with his wife, Emma. (J.D.)
Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire on the 12th February, 1809. He was the son of Robert Darwin and Susannah Darwin. Charles Darwin is one of the most famous British scientists. Although he was ill for a long period of time, he was a successful grown man.
Charles had four sisters and one brother. Marianne, Caroline and Susan were his sister’s names; Erasmus was his older brother. Darwin went to school at Shrewsbury School. He started school in 1818-1825. Then he went to Edinburgh University but then went to Cambridge University. Charles loved nature but didn’t like school!
Charles got invited to join the expedition of HMS Beagle as a naturalist. They set off on 27th December 1831 when Darwin was aged 22 and were almost gone for five years. They visited a place called the Galapagos Islands. Darwin enjoyed visiting it. The wildlife there has almost all the reptiles and half the world’s plant in three islands. At the time they were not found anywhere else. (A.B.)
Charles Darwin was one of the most well known and clever scientists in England and the world. His life was full of adventure and curiosity but, at 8, his mum passed away and Charles went to boarding school along with his five siblings.
When Charles left school, his father wanted him to got to Edinburgh and study about being a doctor but when Charles had been there for two years, he left. He found it dull andhated the sight of blood so he headed to Cambridge for a general degree. His dad then hoped for him to become a vicar but, again, this was not what Charles wanted to be. He became fascinated in natural history and set off on his first quest.
Charles lived in a ship (HMS Beagle) which was dirty and full of dust for most of his journey. His exploits were stuffed with rare and endangered animals, e.g. an iguana and a giant ground sloth from the ice age! (O.D.)
Charles Darwin was well known for his interest in science and the theory of humans coming from apes.
He was born on the 12th of February 1809 in Shrewsbury. His father, Robert, was a famous doctor and his mother unfortunately died when he was just eight years old. Charles had five siblings but his brother, Erasmus, was his best friend and closest companion. Darwin’s nickname at school was ‘Gas’ because he and his brother had a laboratory in the outside shed.
To his father’s delight, Charles Darwin attended Edinburgh for medicine. Surprisingly, he didn’t like the ‘dull’ lectures and hated the sight of blood. He then went to Cambridge for a general degree. Robert Darwin wanted him to become a vicar but he spent more time with animals. Whilst he was in Cambridge, he collected over fifty different types of beetles; he stored them in a box which later came to go into a museum.
In 1831 he set off on the HMS Beagle expedition which travelled to South America, South Africa and Australia. Although Darwin loved to be at sea, he often got seasick. The place he liked the most were the Galapagos Islands, which were near Ecuador. He discovered a lot of new animals there, e.g. the giant tortoise, blue-footed boobies and many more. He also studied the different types of birds on each island and found over ten different species. (M.C.)
Charles Darwin was one of the most famous scientists in British history. He explored places which would be a dream to some people and, for others, it would be their worst nightmare!
Charles was born on the 12th February 1809 in The Mount, Shrewsbury. Charles Darwin’s parents were Robert Darwin, who was a very wealthy doctor, and Susannah Wedgwood, who was from the family famous for making Wedgwood pottery. As a child he enjoyed collecting beetles.
When he was sixteen years old, he went to Edinburgh University as his father wanted him to study medicine, but he didn’t like the sight of blood so he left. A year later he went to Cambridge University so he could aim to be a vicar (that’s what his dad wanted him to be). In Cambridge he founded a club called The Glutton Club. It was a club where they would get an animal that wouldn’t normally eat and try it. They ate many things including armadillo. ostrich and even a giant tortoise. Darwin’s favourite meat was thought to be a capybara but by far his least favourite was an old brown owl which he said was stringy and foul!
When Darwin was 22 years old he was invited to join HMS Beagle and he was the Captain’s companion. On the ship there were 75 people crammed into little cabins which were filthy and dusty; Charles would often get seasick. Darwin’s favourite place was the Galapagos Islands which is where he found Giant tortoises which can live up to 100 years old (- he even rode one), colourful iguanas and 13 different types of finches. (D.B.)
We have been sharing the wonderful book by Michelle Magorian, Goodnight Mr Tom. We started to imagine how Tom must have felt at different times in his life and decided to create some autobiographical pieces, writing as if we were Tom Oakley. Year 6 have written very sensitively about Tom’s life. Here are a few to share:
Tom Oakley’s autobiography (HW)
I have lived in Little Weirwold since the age of sixteen when my parents moved to Australia. At the age of 21 I met the love of my life, Rachel. We were both born in the same year, 1874. Two years later I married her. As the years went by, Rachel gave birth in 1899 but neither of them came out alive. I would do anything to get her back and I always remember being a Dad for three minutes.
We loved to make beer, cakes and jam together but I can’t have them any more. Even painting makes a tear drip down my face. I can still see her everywhere I go. For the past forty years I’ve been alone in a small cottage; Sammy and I next to the graveyard. I suppose you could call me grumpy.
For forty long years I’ve been alone but now I’m a grave digger and, to me, when I pass Rachel and my son I feel more comforted than ever. When William arrived I insisted to turn my life around. He was a small, skinny boy who was very nervous. He always said, “But mother said if I get these dirty I need to take a beating”… Funny lad. Although it was strange, I still wanted to see what fathering was like.
He was sick twice and he wet the bed three times. But, as the days went by, the boy changed and began to get used to the country and I suppose I was no longer grumpy. If I keep this up, and Willie keeps being not scared, I will be the best father: Tom, Willie and Sammy!
Tom Oakley’s autobiography (TH)
I have always lived in Little Weirwold, an idyllic village in the countryside. I was born here in 1869 in Weirwold and I met a lovely wife in the village too. I now live alone because sadly she died forty years ago.
When my wife died I was the saddest person in the world and didn’t want to be alive. Although my wife died, I still thought of her. When I got Willie, it made my house more homely.
After forty years of living alone, William thought that I was really scary. But, after a while, Willie got less scared and liked saying, “Goodnight Mr Tom” at bedtime. Every day I walked my dog to the church. In the church I met a person called Bill and his wife has died too. I got home and I felt normal.
Tom Oakley’s autobiography (JM)
I was born on the twelfth of December 1875 in Little Weirwold. Sixty-four years on I still live in the same town. I live on Merk Road, number 18, right next to the church. For many years I’ve been living alone, but the one time I wasn’t were my years with Rachel.
Rachel and I met in 1891 and married in 1892. We had a happy time together, me helping Rachel to paint and create. We would walk along the quiet streets and pop into the calm artist shop. We’d come back home and sit down peacefully. But now she’s gone along with my only son – only together for eight years and five months. It didn’t help to find out my parents died the same night. Buried under the old tree outside the window, I will never forget them.
After that, I’ve been living along for forty years being miserable and grumpy. I’ve been tired and have never walked into the art shop since Rachel’s death. In 1930 I bought a dog and called him Sammy. He has been the only thing in my life I could have called ‘company’ until, one day, I started living with another human again.
William Beech arrived on August 29th 1939 and is a very nervous child. He has bruises and is hard work but he is lifting me out of my misery. It’s nice to live with another human being, even if they wet the bed every night. We walk around town finding entertainment and we recently built an Anderson shelter. He is slowly getting more confident and I’m getting happier. All I hope for now is for Willie and I to be father and son for ever…
Tom Oakley’s autobiography (ME)
I have always lived in the peaceful Little Weirwold in the homely countryside of Yorkshire. I rather like it here but sometimes it can get too quiet. My wife, Rachel, died when I was twenty and my son died when he was born. That is the reason I accepted the request to take Willie in.
Before my wife died we would take long walks in the cool breeze amongst the rustling trees. When we arrived back home we would sit outside drinking beer in the romance of the sunset. I loved making jam with her and her smile was twice as sweet.
I loved her dearly; but now she’s gone. My heart still lives with her and she’s still alive in my dreams. I still hate things that remind me of her and our memories. But Willie is like my son now. I will look after him for as long as he needs.
The day I took up Willie was life-changing for me, life-changing in many ways. I knew there were evacuees in the village but I never, for one minute, thought Willie would be looked after by me. I was scared, petrified even, that a small child would live in my house. Things were different before; just me and Sammy taking long walks in the autumn rustle of the leaves on the floor. Sammy would skip through them panting for breath. I would throw a ball; he would bring it back. Now Willie would join in with our laughter and loneliness. I suppose it would not be so bad.
I have been through a lot with Willie, wetting the bed, being sick, also sleeping under the bed; I’ve never dealt with a child doing that before, probably because I’ve never had a child… I am excited, or should I say curious, for the years ahead. Just me, Sammy and Willie.
Tom Oakley’s autobiography (JL)
I have always loved living in Little Weirwold where I live today and always have, even though the town holds some bad memories. I was born here in 1874 on the opposite side of the town from where I live now. My Dad was a farmer so I grew up as one. Being in the countryside, my Dad owned lots of land so we were quite wealthy. My Mum stayed and home and died when I was six but my Dad died when I was eighteen. It was a sad time, but luckily I had found someone called Rachel and, with her parents’ permission, I lived at her house.
We married in 1895 at twenty-one, and we heard she was going to have a baby. I remember she loved painting and I loved looking at them. After a painting, we would go to the mill and make a new batch of beer. It was wonderful. For some strange reason she really liked jam on flapjack. I hated it; I liked jam, but not flapjack. In our spare time we loved to walk our dog Babby. In 1898 our luck ran out. She died in childbirth. I had no wife and no children. I was heartbroken.
After that, I never went to any paintshops or any painting places; I sold the mill, never had jam and moved back to the other side of town. I did not know what to do with myself so I went to church every Sunday and became a grave digger. For thirty five long, sad years that was my life but then I bought Sammy. He was a lovely dog and lightened up five years before William arrived in 1939. Even so, people thought I was grumpy, reclusive and boring.
Shell-shocked William seemed as he walked up the path to my house. I remember knowing about evacuees and not taking much notice; now I was looking after one myself!
“Hi,” I said, as I opened the door.
“Hello, there’s the boy,” she said in a witch-like, high-pitched voice. And she strode away without another word. I looked at William. He was thin and small and had many sores and bruises on his legs. He said nothing for the first few hours and looked so scared like I was about to kill him. At last, when I gave him a bacon sandwich, he said,
As part of our work on biographies and autobiography in literacy, we have been finding out about Roald Dahl and especially researching his recount of the ‘Great Mouse Plot’.
Here are some examples of work written by Year 6.
The Great Mouse Plot (WS)
Mrs Pratchett’s sweet shop was by far the best sweet shop, but what put them off was its owner; Mrs Pratchett was a skinny, bad tempered lady with the grubbiest hands ever…
One wonderful day in the town of Llandaff in Wales, Roald Dahl and his friends were on the way to school when they popped into the sweet shop. When they walked in, there she was; the mean and grim Mrs Pratchett stood there.
“What do you want? You horrible lot!”
If they didn’t spend a sixpence or more than they would have their sweets wrapped up in a piece of newspaper. They hurried out of the sweetshop and jogged along to school. Exhausted and tired, they went into the classroom.
At the back of the classroom there was a loose floorboard which they had lifted up with the blade of a pocket knife…
Below the floorboard they kept their treasures and sweets. One day they opened it up and found a dead mouse. Although it was dead, it seed to say,
“Put me in the jar!”
They slipped into Roald Dahl’s pocket and headed over to the sweet shop. Thwaites ordered a sherbert sucker while Roald Dahl slipped it into the gobstopper jar!
“Thank you!”they all said and they trotted off.
The next morning they walked past the sweet shop and on the door it surprisingly said. ‘CLOSED’ in big letters. Shocked and worried, they peered in to see nobody there, the jar on the floor smashed to smithereens, and the dead mouse lying there with the gobstoppers surrounding it.
“Oh no!” they said. “What has happened? She’s not there!”
The Great Mouse Plot (JF)
The sweet shop that Roald Dahl, Thwaites and their friends loved was owned by Mrs Pratchett. Sweets were their life; they loved sweets more than anything, but they also hated Mrs Pratchett more than anything. Grubby and smelly, her hands plunged into the jars and the sweets came out smelling revolting.
With all the foetid things that Mrs Pratchett had done, the boys decided to come up with a plan to get their revenge. Under the floorboard in the classroom where the sweets lay, lay a putrid, dead mouse; they decided to make a plan… on Mrs Pratchett. Ronald took the dreadful mouse and stuffed it into his bag.
The next day, when the boys were walking to school, they passed the sweet shop. Excited and nervous, the boys headed into the shop.
“I w…w…would l-like a bootlace and a sherbert sucker p-p-p-please,” stuttered Thwaites. Whilst Mrs Pratchett was getting the sweets, Roald Dahl silently dropped the mouse into the gobstopper jar.
The next morning they were excited to see what had happened. So, when they peered into the shop, they saw the jar smashed and the dead mouse lying in the gobstoppers. They couldn’t stop for long because they were late for prayers so they ran the rest of the way. When they got to the school they headed straight outside because everyone else was there. A few minutes later, the head teacher, Mr Coombes, came out with an alive Mrs Pratchett! She started to inspect every child. When she came to Dahl and his friends she shouted,
Half an hour later Mr Coombes beckoned them into his office…