Thursday, January 10, 2013

Quick, Effective Literacy Activity

Six-Word Memoirs is an easy activity to implement in the classroom. This activity could be done with students of any age and with any materials, including paper and pencil. However, it would also be fun to do it with computer tools and post some of the memories online. It works like this:
  • Think of 6 words who define you or tell your life story--form a 6-word sentence--how you arrange the words helps
  • Find an image to go along with the sentence
Students can find the picture that represents them first and then write the sentence, or do the activity in reverse. Most of all, figure out a way for students to share these memoirs with one another and others. 

Here is some information about the project, which includes images of 6-word memoirs. 

Illustrated Six-Word Memoirs by Students from Grade School to Grad School

Here is a video explaining the concept of the 6-week memoir, a technique derived from writer Ernest Hemingway. The video contains tips for creating the memoirs. 

Here is an example of a series of 6-word memoirs from a high school students who gathered theirs into a video and posted the video on YouTube.

Although simple, the activity can create a fun, interactive, and reflective learning environment.

Have you tried this activity in your classroom? If so, how did it go? If you have not, would you consider it, and how would you proceed to implement it? How would you have students share--among themselves, or in a more public way, like the video above? Regardless of the age level you teach, keep in mind this activity can be adapted to fit the learners' literacy skills.