Six Word Summer Memoirs

Although my sixth graders won’t start writing in earnest until next week, I wanted to give them a taste of some of the varied writing activities we will be doing this year. So, I introduced the “six word story” concept to them, connecting the writing idea to summer memories. I then gave them each notecards, and had them write at least one six word memoir (many wrote multiple stories) and then we did some sharing out of our stories. You could see they were intrigued — six words? how hard could that be? — until they started writing — six words? That’s too many (or too few)! — and many used their fingers to count words. It was like watching the writing of haiku.

The stories were great, and it gave me another chance to quickly get to know them and to connect with their summer experiences. I also shared a few of my own including:

The band got tighter; rocked out.


Agreed to roller-coaster ride; heart-stopping fun.

We talked about how you need to leave out things, and how it could not just be an adjective list, and how you need to capture an idea in a short amount of time. These are all skill we will be developing this year, and the six word summer memoir was a perfect start-of-the-year sharing activity.

Here are some of theirs:


Peace (in the six),


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