Friday, February 17, 2017

Poetry Friday: six words

Thank you for all the amazing posts and comments last week! I am still making my way through all of them, and you can expect belated comments soon. Exciting news - as a result of last week's post and review of Here We Go: a poetry Friday power book, I've been given the opportunity to giveaway five copies of the book! Please enter the drawing at the bottom of the post for your chance to win.

Six Word Stories

My students are in the middle of a unit on family history and our connections to immigration and immigration stories. We are exploring many different genres of researching and reporting on our findings and our thoughts, and, of course, poetry is one of those outlets.

Last week, I showed my students the promo (below) for the current Six Word Stories contest, Fresh Off the Boat: Stories of Immigration, Identity, and Coming to America. [We did not enter the contest, but if you are interested, it runs through this Monday. Details here.] We had done some work with six word memoirs a few months ago (kids created "meme" style images with text overlays). What I love about six word stories is that the tiny size makes them seem approachable, while the necessary economy of words really forces you to "think like a poet."

We created a shared Padlet for kids to write and share their six word memoirs. (Nothing motivates most middle schoolers faster than the chance to share and show off in front of others.) Kids had the option to put their name to their comments or to post anonymously.

Made with Padlet

One of my favorite things about this exercise was how much excitement and inspiration they got from each other! Once a few students started posted deeply personal posts, others immediately followed suit.

Check out this week's Poetry Friday linkup at Check It Out!

Happy Poetry Friday! Do you have a six-word family story? Consider sharing it in the comments below!


  1. Amazing work from these students. Such power in six little words.

  2. Each one powerful, but some even humorous: 'Panda Express is not really Chinese!' - hee hee. Thanks for challenging your students, Katie, and sharing the results with us. =)

  3. I love these! What a great unit. In my community it's very rare to find somewhere who was actually born here, let alone can trace their family back more than a generation, so there are a lot of immigration stories here!

  4. I. LOVE. THIS. PADLET! And, I will share this contest with my school. We have a ton, I mean a TON of immigrants and children of immigrants. Well, done you! I can't wait to see what next week brings.

  5. The background you've been studying really gave the six-word stories a boost, Katie. They're all wonderfully revealing. I'm glad to hear about your study.

  6. The ones defensive about being Muslim break my heart. They remind me of being defensive about being Irish -- no, I don't drink green beer or dance with leprechauns. Why are there so many awful stereotypes? Here is my six words:

    More countries forge me than six.

  7. Oh, my gosh, Katie. These poems are powerful, and in so few lines. Kudos to your young writers.

  8. WOW.

    Here's mine:

    Tied to childhood landscape by heartstrings.

  9. What a wonderful way to get these students writing! Powerful words here too.
    My six-word family story:
    Roots connect love across different lands.

  10. I'm loving these 6-word memoirs, Katie. Very impressive!

  11. How fun to read this 6 word memoirs. I might try to with Poetry Rocks.


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