6-Word Memoirs

Last Friday, Deb Day posted several 6-word memoirs written by her students. If you haven't read her post, check it out. I was familiar with Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure, edited by Smith Magazine, but reading Deb's post was a great reminder of how motivating this kind of writing could be for children who struggle to get much down on the paper. Jennifer Allen also wrote about how she used 6-word memoirs as a staff development tool in an article posted on Choice Literacy.  Here are my latest attempts at 6-word memoirs:

Speak softer. I can hear you.

I am changing. He's not happy.

Forgot to remember what I forgot.

Played with Barbies. Turned out okay.

Becoming old teacher. Didn't see coming.


  1. Will check this out on Deb's blog. thanks for pointing me that way. I have much respect for Jennifer Allen.

  2. Loved your six word memoirs, especially "Becoming old teacher…" Me too!

    Here are a couple from me.

    Snowy windy March. Wishing for daffodils.
    Mom of teens. Turning grayer daily.
    Worry less. Pray more. Trust more.

    Happy Monday.

  3. I've a similarly attired table, including the cat.
    But I'm missing the idea frame!
    Nice voice in your piece. I enjoyed it.

  4. I love these! I have heard of six word memoirs, but I have never written any. I love how because they have to be so brief, the reader can create a fuller story or options for fuller stories in their minds based off their own life experiences. These were fun.

  5. Diana,
    I love 6 word memoirs and Smith Magazine. Kevin H. hooked me on them and we've used them often on the National Writing Project's iAnthology.
    Too bad I don't have a classroom to have kids playing with them.

  6. Here is my 6-word Memoir for today...
    Only Monday. Wish it were Friday.

  7. My friend uses the Six Word Memoir to great effect in her first week of teaching every semester. The students have to work on it at home--no off-the-cuff writing, as it takes some effort to construct one of these. I love reading them, and love the idea that we can reveal in a very brief slice a lot about ourselves.

    Like any good teacher, I will be stealing her idea for my next semester's class. I love it--and it was great to read your post about that idea.

    Here are some of the ones her students wrote:
    Bad luck naturally comes to me.

    Pretty, pink, and covered in chocolate.

    Book to friend ratio--976:1

    A people-person tired of people.

    Car broke down again. I'll walk.

    War makes everybody a little crazy.

    Elizabeth E.

  8. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll check it. Good week.

  9. I really liked "Speak softer. I can hear you." The six word memoir is a great genre. My students loved it. We received a comment from Larry Smith of Smith's Magazine who started this whole thing. He suggested the kids send theirs to the magazine. You might want to do that too! Here's the link: http://sixwordmemoirs.com

  10. I loved them, especially the one about changing. Thanks for trying them. They seem challenging & you did it well. I am about to begin a memoir unit & will use the idea.

  11. I love doing 6-word memoirs with my students. You shared some great ones with us. I like the second one in particular!
    --jee young

  12. Holding baby while trying to post. Helping fellow new-mom teacher. Fun.
    Your thoughts are very clever. I love the last line. I laughed.:) MaryHelen

  13. Six Word Memoirs! My kids love these - they are also wonderful for digital stories.

  14. I chuckled at the "played with Barbies" one! I'm going to write this idea down - maybe it will be my goal for my summer slices!

  15. I am a great fan of 6 Word Memoirs. They are a challenge, they also make great titles. Here's mine for the day. Remembering forgotten experiences - now shadowy memories.


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