Try 6 Word Memoirs for the First Week of School

This year, more than ever, it’s so important to develop relationships early with your students. But how? It’s not easy with masks, screens, and tech issues getting in the way. 

It is possible though.

Try focusing in on writing and speaking activities that give students a chance to share about their lives and dreams at the same time that they begin to use their ELA skills again after summer break. I shared about this earlier this summer in my podcast episode, A Plan for your First Fall Unit, Unknowns and All

I’ve got a few favorite activities to suggest, including name tents, I am From Poems, and today’s easy project, 6 Word Memoirs. 

Six word memoirs are a fun and simple concept. To tell a story of your own life in just six words is quite a challenge, but it’s a good one. 

Students can either create a continuous six word story relating to their lives, like “The day she arrived, everything changed.” Or share a series of key words like “tennis / journalism / Sarah / frosting / meditation / photography.” 

You know me, I can’t resist combining a bit of imagery and color with the ideas. Giving this a one-pageresque spin helps students share more of themselves along the way. Ask kids to represent their words with images and color to accent meaning. This can easily be done on a Google Slide, Canva poster, or piece of paper (depending on your scenario and LMS). 

Once students have written and designed their six word memoir, have students reflect on their choices with a short explanation in writing (or use a tool like Flipgrid to record the explanations). 
At this point, you can have kids share through a socially distanced gallery walk or turn to (distant) partners to share. Or you can do an online gallery display or Flipgrid viewing to help everyone get to know each other better. 
This assignment can easily be given and enjoyed across multiple scenarios. If your students are remote, you might consider printing their memoirs for a display to welcome them back when they return. 
That’s it! In this busy time, I just wanted to offer you a quick win for the back-to-school weeks. 
Feeling stressed about Blended Learning? Check out these recent posts:


I'm Betsy

I’ll help you find the creative ELA strategies that will light up your classroom. Get ready for joyful teaching!




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