NPR did a story a while ago about the new book put out by Smith magazine - "Not Quite What I Was Planning". They invited their readers to write a six word memoir. When I heard the story, I filed it away in my mental possible -lesson-plans folder. I guess I'm not the only one, since Heidi brought up the story a few events ago. She also mentioned it as an idea for a class exercise.
As it turned out, the very day after that conversation I found myself with an unexpected half-hour in my AVID class. I put some examples up on the whiteboard, including my own memoir at the time ("I do not choose the easy path."), then had my students take a stab at it.
As they wrote, I tried think of a way that they could "publish". Inspiration struck again in the form of the blank wall at the back of my room. That, a drawer full of markers, and about 20 minutes later created this:
(click on the picture to see it full-sized)
- I live my life, not yours.
- Big boy, livin' a father's dream.
- Every body's good, mine is better.
- I blame myself for your problems.
- Baby, it's not what you think....
- I don't cheat on beautiful girls.
- Made mistakes, corrected some, still correcting
- I can accomplish anything I want!
- If only I had a dollar.
- No one loves an emo kid.
- One day is all it takes.
- Challenges in my life really helped.
- If only there were pink dogs.
- Will you see the real me?
- Love's great, life's short, go crazy!
Not a bad lesson, especially when I keep catching students in my other classes reading it before class. One even asked if he could add his own to it!