Monday, March 30th, 2009
As Larry and I chug away on I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets: Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous and Obscure, we are getting more and more excited to visit schools. Recently, we heard from a SMITH user who brought six-word memoirs to her daughter’s 4th grade class at Heritage Elementary in Waunakee, WI. Deb Nies writes:
Armed with an explanation and the examples, we kicked off the project.
Some kids struggled to start.
“Can it be 7 words?” No.
“Is this “right?” There is no “right.”
“I don’t know what to write.” (which happens to be one of my own 6-word memoirs!)
Others jumped right in. Normally verbose children entered contemplative modes. After a bit of writing, they wandered amongst each other, comparing life stories. There was much laughter and loads of excited energy.
The kids described writing 6-word memoirs with words like, “challenging,” “hard,” and “frustrating. My daughter, Hannah, reflected on the experience. “It’s hard to put your whole life into six words.” Colin Duffy echoed that sentiment, as well. Ally DeSpirito added, “It’s hard but somehow the most important words pop out very strongly in your mind and in your heart.”
But the word used most often to describe the experience was “fun.” Connor Reefe explained, “It is a fun way to exercise your brain!”
Some of my favorite memoirs from the fourth graders include:
Math is like my brother, annoying. -Aleaha Martinez
My family is very, very cool. -Brayden Johnson
We adopted my sister Valentine’s Day. -Connor Reefe
Can’t live without MY pepperoni pizza. - Haley Werlein