six word memoirs

It’s hard not to love the writing project. There are so many amazing ideas that get floated around, and teachers are so generous with their time and energy that it really feels like we are getting a lot done. It’s fun to watch people who have never been exposed to the writing project “model” get excited about going back to their classrooms and trying something new.

One of the new fun things that we talked about today was the six word memoir. Popularized with Smith magazine and made famous with Hemingway’s “For sale: baby shoes, never worn”,they attempt to encapsulate all (or part) of a life in just six words. You can imagine the fun. What’s mine?

Explore. Roots Stretch. Moving encourages growth.

How very zen of me.

publishing cabbages and kings

We had a fascinating speaker at the writing project yesterday. Erick Gordon of the Student Press Initiative spoke to us of the power of publishing and audience for student writers. Most of it was old news (the idea of publishing being motivating has been around awhile), but Erick was an engaging speaker and the most important part was not necessarily that publishing would be motivating.

It’s amazing to think of the far-reaching effects that publishing student writing can have. Not only do we give our students something, but we also give something to the world. And isn’t that one of the goals of all teachers? And isn’t touching the world something we want to teach our students to strive for?

When students begin thinking of audience (or at least of an audience beyond their teachers and best friends) the power of the writing expands to encompass the world. Teachers struggle to make their students connect to the outside world and feel as if their work matters–publishing could do both.