Friday, October 8, 2010

Always Carry Around a Plan B

I'm honored that Jason has asked me to contribute to this great teaching blog. What a great collaborative effort for all the right reasons...teaching and learning!

A little about me, I'm a reading consultant by day and a Mom of 2 boys by night. I love learning, growing and am a champion for literacy. I am excited to share teaching ideas. As an adult learner, I find myself reflecting a lot on my work too. So...some of my entries may be teaching ideas and I may throw some reflection out there too. We'll see how it goes!

This one's a teaching idea...I was recently attending some professional development where I was introduced to a writing activity called Six Word Memoirs. Ernest Hemingway was once asked, "Can you describe you life in six words?" His response: For sale: baby shoes, never worn. Powerful stuff...

Sitting among fellow teachers, we were asked the same question. "Can you describe your life in six words?" As I sat and worked on mine, it dawned on me that this would be a great activity for our kids! We have all had those kids in class that struggle with writing (sometimes with how much too)...maybe the ideas aren't flowing...maybe the writing process isn't as developed...maybe English isn't the first language... Whatever the reason, it isn't happening. Posing the question to them takes the pressure off "how much" and promotes great thinking and reflecting. Plus, it's a quick and easy idea to throw out!

So, I gave it a shot. Here are a few of my six word memoirs I was able to write:
Always Carry Around a Plan B.
Mom of boys...fueled by coffee.
Growing, learning all of the time.
Wanted: A beach house in Florida

How about it...can you describe your life in six words???

1 comment:

J. Kornoely said...

Writers often stumble on the freedom of writing freely.

Six-Word Memoirs offers focus for writers. In my experience, my most reluctant writers do their best work when structure exists. So often I've seen brains lock up when asked to write about what ever they like. They stare at the blank page like it's an insurmountable mountainside. The six word limitation would be helpful indeed. I can imagine using this idea as a way to narrow a big topic to a more manageable moment in time. Writing about getting sick on the tea cup ride instead of writing about the entire trip to Disney World.

What a great formative assessment tool too. After small-group discussion on a topic, students can come up with a six-word recap of the topic in their journals.

Great idea Melanie! So glad to have you on board.