Topics for Biographical Research Papers

Cross-curricular art science social studies research topics for multi-disciplinary unit topic ideas

Image: iClipart

As part of the nonficiton-reading slant for the common core state standards initiative, are you planning to have your students do some online biographical reports? There are so many topics to choose from, right? So where do you start?

Think cross-curricularly! Here are some of the topics I’ve offered in conjunction with our middle school’s art and science teachers:

Artists in Alphabetical Order


Ansel Adams = photographed the west before it was “civilized”

Johann Sebastian Bach = a German composer of classical music

Coco Chanel = a French designer

Giuseppe Maria Crespi = Italian painter

Salvador Dali = a surrealist painter

Leonardo DaVinci = Italian painter and sculptor

Alexandre Gustave Eiffel = a French sculptor

M.C. Escher = a Dutch illustrator

Utagawa Fusatane = a Japanese printmaker

William Gale = British painter

George Harrison = British musician (guitarist)

Jean Baptiste Isabey = French painter

Paul Klee = Swiss painter*

Fernand Leger = French painter*

Michelangelo Buonarroti = Italian sculptor and painter

Claude Monet = French impressionist painter

Pietro Novelli = Italian painter

Pablo Picasso = Spanish painter and sculptor*

Giacomo Quarenghi = Russian architect

Frederick Remington = American sculptor and painter of the old West

Pierre Auguste Renoir = French painter

John Singer Sargent = American sculptor

John Storrs = American sculptor

Henri Toulouse Lautrec = French painter

Vincent VanGogh = Dutch painter

Diego Velasquez = Spanish painter

Grant Wood = American painter


Inventors in Alphabetical Order


Robert Adler – wireless remote control

Alexander Graham Bell – telephone

Wallace Carothers – nylon

Samuel Colt – revolver

Bartolomeo Cristofori – piano

James Dewar – thermos

William Kennedy Laurie Dickson – motion picture camera

Thomas Edison – light bulb

Michael Faraday – electric motor

Charles Goodyear – vulcanized rubber

John Gutenberg – movable type printing press

Elias Howe – sewing machine

Aleksei Isaev – rocket-powered fighter aircraft

Whitcomb Judson – zipper

John Harvey Kellogg – Corn Flakes

Otto Lilienthel – hang glider

James Clerk Maxwell – color photography

Isaac Newton – reflecting telescope

John Pemberton – Coca Cola

Muhammad Zakariya Razi – distillation and kerosene

Arthur William Savage – radial tires and gun magazines

Percy Spencer – microwave oven

Levi Strauss – blue jeans

Edward Teller – hydrogen bomb

John Venn – Venn diagram

Eli Whitney – Cotton Gin

Yi Xing – astronomical clock


I hope you found some topics you could use. If so, remember to tweet about this website, like this page on FB, and/or spread the word in some other way! Heck, add a link from your website to mine! It’s all good!

And don’t forget to go back to my post of September 17, 2013, when I posted my biography book report form! Oh heck, here are links to those images, just in case you can’t find the right spot:

Biography Book Report Form Pg 1

Biography Book Report Form Pg 2


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