Writing doesn’t always flow easily, especially for children who associate writing with assignments and grades. That’s why the Pearl of the Concho Writing Project in Texas is extremely important. Their ten-day Youth Writers’ Camp inspires creativity, free of academic pressure, and allows these third through fifth graders to grow as writers. We’re thrilled to honor their 2014 Youth Writers’ Camp as our Six-Word Memoir’s Classroom of the Month!
This year’s theme is “The Story of My Life.” Shanna Saverance and her colleague, Sandy, agreed Six-Word Memoirs was the perfect way to introduce campers to this theme and each other. “We cut some playing cards in half (literally) and dealt them to the students; they then had to find the person with the other half of their card,” Saverance explained. “Once the students found their partners, they had to interview each other—ask their partners’ name, who they live with, their hobbies and anything else they would like to share about themselves—and formulate a Six-Word Memoir about each other. Finally, students used the Six-Word Memoirs to introduce their new friends to the group.”
The Six-Word fun didn’t stop there! Students searched for Six-Word Memoirs in their daily readings of Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan. Once shown an example (“They hunt frantically, stalking, pushing, grumbling.”), Shanna told us, “the students began to recognize and actively seek them on their own (“We’re dreamers, poets, philosophers, nap takers.”). Now that the students are familiar with the concept of Six-Word Memoir, they spontaneously write them about themselves, their friends, family members and fictional characters!”
“Busy pencils, racing across blank pages.”
“Good writers write lots of stories.”
“Books have pages, words, and chapters.”
“Jasmine loves to read a lot.”
“All writers write different, unique stories.”
“Dave Macey’s story is still unsolved.”
The Youth Writers’ Camp encourages students to become more confident writers. We hope those young writers will continue to use the Six-Word form to express themselves and spark their creativity.