Notice: They’re personal – your memoirs should “fit” you. You could be inspired by what others have written (in the video or books).Words matter.Order matters, too.
Good: force you to “cut to the chase”; you can say a lot without saying much at all; each word is significantFrustrating: I always want to know more—they open doors to larger rooms; I can’t tell the entire story in 6 words.
For me: allows me to personalize it a little, allows me to show the connection, rather than stating it. Words still have purpose. Phrasing still matters.
define memoir. identify qualities of memoirs. evaluate sample memoirs. brainstorm ideas for our own memoirs. write memoirs of our own lives.
An autobiographical text in which the author retells a story from his/her own life.
A story retrieved from the writer’s memory Stars the writer as protagonist Written in first person Uses ―I‖ to remember and comment on the events Often includes reflection Places emphasis on the story The ―point‖ emerges from events + characters, rather than from narration. A record of the event, not a reaction to it.
―Writing memoir is a way to figure out who you used to be and how to be who you are…‖ – Abigail Thomas In retelling your story, you discover new thoughts about yourself and the experience.
―Clutter is the disease of American writing.‖ - William Zinsser Americans have short attention spans. Strip sentences to their cleanest components. Clear thinking becomes clear writing. Ask yourself: What am I trying to say?
What are they? Six-Word Memoirs by Teens What did you notice about them? Why write them? Economy of words – spend your 6 words wisely! Word choice NPR examples; books Your task: Write two or three six-word memoirs. Share.
I teach and never stop learning. He said ―improprietous.‖ I felt love. Dog takes me on walks everyday. He was furry and my friend. Sisters moved away. Skype erases miles.
What’s good about sixword memoirs?What’s frustrating aboutsix word memoirs?
Pick one of your Six Word Memoirs. Say a little more this time. There are still limits, but you have 140 characters, as many as Twitter allows for a post.My example:He was furry and my friend. Duke used to rock my cradle. In elementary school, Id follow him around and try to ride on his back. When he passed, tears rained for days.
How does having 140characters change yourmemoir?
Memoirs are usually longer than 140 characters. In order to provide the full picture of the moment to your audience, you simply need more words. Let’s brainstorm possibilities for longer memoirs.
See back of today’s handout.Mrs. Mundy’s list: The Olympic torch as it passed through Buffalo. The track team ―streaking‖ through my college library. A beached whale set free. My HS jazz band playing with Wynton Marsalis on stage at NYC’s Lincoln Center. A free Barenaked Ladies concert outside of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A college acquaintance physically assaulted by a police officer. A boat parade on the 4th of July. Fireworks in the fog in San Fran.
Waffles with walnuts—made by my grandma Goldfish crackers GG’s Potato salad Softened chocolate ice cream Burgers and macaroni salad Corn on the cob in Chautauqua Pizza pies in pie irons over the fire S’mores Nachos (cheddar OR mozzerella & pepperoni) Bocce’s pizza McDonald’s Hamburger Happy Meals (sometimes 2 @ a time) Dairy Queen Dilly Bars made w/ chocolate ice cream
Chances are good that these tastes/foods have stories attached to them. ―Corn on the cob at Chautauqua‖ reminds me of the summers spent at my grandfather’s cottage. It reminds me of the close knit family I am lucky to have.
Choose one of the stories you brainstormed in any of the activities today. Six Word Memoirs Tweet Your Life I Was a Witness My Childhood Tasted Like… Do your best to tell that full story in a draft for next class. It will be collected. Please type it!