Eighth Graders Create Six-word Memoirs about Their Truths

After learning about memoirs and reading the memoir This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff, eighth graders concluded this unit of study by writing a piece about their own life in memoir form. “How expressive could you be about your life if you had only six words to do it?” asks teacher David Jefferies. Students began by writing a section of their own life using the strategies learned through the study of Wolff’s book and then used that writing to inform their six-word autobiographies. They wrote about everything from their passion for sports to family trips, to important teachers and coaches in their lives. Examples from past years include “New world. Didn’t leave the old,” and “I’m safe in pen and ink.” Once the six-word memoirs were written (with no names attributed to them), eighth graders guessed which memoirs was whose.
“This is how we make things matter, by tapping into the power of language,” adds Mr. Jefferies. “And having a little fun doing it, too!” MORE PHOTOS