Looking for a quick win that you can implement in your class tomorrow?
Assign a Six-Word Memoir!
This is exactly what it sounds like – a story told in only six words.
It’s something I see in high school English classes and I’ve adapted it for science classes. Basically, you want to get to the essence of a story and express it in only six words. You’ll often see them focus on big themes like life, love, loss, etc.
In science classes, I expand the concept to include memoirs for lessons, organisms, processes, structures, labs, etc.
Students get really into it! Here are some of the 6-Word Memoirs that came out of my Taxonomy Instagram Project which requires a 6-Word Memoir be the central square in the photo spread for an assigned taxon.
Domain Archaea: We are tiny and embrace extremes.
Kingdom Fungi: Occupies soils, waters, and other organisms.
Phylum Angiosperm: Power of diverse, seed-producing flowers.
Phylum Annelida: Annelids everywhere are found to slither.
Phylum Mollusca: We are soft, squishy, and shellfish.
Here are some ways to use 6-word memoirs with your class:
- Have pairs of students come up with a 6-word memoir about a lesson you just completed – it can be a summary OR how it makes them feel (be sure to keep a sense of humor here!)
- Include a 6-Word Memoir as part of a research project. It can be a fun introductory quote or part of the title page.
- Create a set of class posters or make a bulletin board! Posters could include pictures and facts in addition to the memoir. This would be super easy and fun with topics like cell organelles, chemical elements, taxa, enzymes, components of cellular respiration, history/models of the atom, macromolecules, enzymes, organic compounds, types of reactions….should I keep going?
- Have a running list of vocabulary terms that would work for 6-word memoirs and have the task available as an early-finisher activity!
- Have you done a lab or demo recently? Challenge students to create a 6-Word Memoir about it!
- Write some 6-word memoirs for different elements, organelles, etc. Read them to your students as a warm-up activity and have them figure out which element or organelle it’s about. I love this as an opportunity for spiralled review or retrieval!
How can you envision using 6-Word Memoirs in the classroom? I’d love for you to share!
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