The Six-Word Memoir Blog

“I couldn’t survive without my iPod”: Six-Word Memoirs from 9th Graders

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

By Patrick Wong

Nothing inspires us more around here than when Six-Word Memoirs find their way into a classroom. In Warminster, Pennsylvania, Ms. Sifer’s 9th grade English class recently joined the challenge. All 133 students wrote six-word stories that were later hung up in her classroom and published with visual pieces on the class’s own blog site. Sifer said that she was hoping to not only spark an interest in literature in her students, but to teach them that you don’t need to be a bestselling author to be published. That is exactly what we’re talkin’ about.

A romp through the site and you might be surprised by how deep these 9th graders are. Sure, you’ll encounter stories you might expect from a teen like, “My math workbook is completely empty” or “I couldn’t survive without my iPod” (Amen!). But you’ll also come across stories that—if you’re anything like me—will blow you away; “I slowly watched her slip away” and “I miss the way things were.” These stories are the stuff of SMITH Teens power-users.

Even cooler: Ms. Sifer’s students put all their stories to music and videos, editing photos and learning to use Windows Movie Maker. We have to give it up for a teacher who can both encourage self-expression and arm her students with skills for the real world. I know I definitely didn’t know how to edit movies, let alone express myself so eloquently, especially in just six words, when I was in the 9th grade. I do know that what this student said is what I probably would’ve said then, now, and likely until the day I die: “I love cake. Yum. Yum. Yum.” Word, Rob G. Cake is delicious. And we only need six words to know it.

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One response

  1. Danni says:

    My teacher has done the same thing.
    I showed him the book.
    And he teaches a creative writing class.
    He was going to originally just use it to cover a bulletin board.
    Now they are beginning to decorate the classroom walls.
    Some are so amazing.
    “schitzophrenic but I am never alone.”
    “I find new scars every day.”
    ” Four letter word of choice: Hope.”

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