Sunday’s For Teachers: The Six Words

Please check out my previous Storytelling posts here.  And my 365 Reviews here.

I know it is not Sunday, but I didn’t drop a post yesterday, and tomorrow is a bit up in the air, so with the time I have right now, I want to share an assignment that I did with my creative writing class.  It’s not ground-breaking, and some of you might have even done it before, but I wanted to highlight some great student work!  And if you have not tried this, please do.

The Six Word Short Story comes with a storied and fabled past.  Rumor has it that Ernest Hemingway, boasting that he could write a story in only six words took a bar napkin and wrote “For sale: baby shoes, never worn” and passed it around, proving his greatness.

Since then, the Six Word Short Story has found a place in flash fiction across the globe.  I like to have my students play with the challenge because, like Twitter before it doubled its character limit, thinking about word economy is a great exercise in precision.  If you can make a person think in six words, you’ve used six words very well!  Now, what can you do with 800??

Use this as a warm-up activity or part of a longer lesson on word usage and sentence length…OR summarize a chapter or concept in six words.

Here are the Top 10 from my creative writing classes.  Pleases feel free to share my students’ work with your kids as you show them examples.  There are also great example all over the web.  Just be careful they don’t plagiarize, which I’ve had happen, even with six words. #yikes

Died years ago, people just noticed.  -ShawnTiana B.

Even in our dreams, pain exists.  -Nia B.

Mom struggles.  Son succeeds.  Dad appears.  -Kevin G.

Came home to find empty closets.  -Emilie B.

I miss you.  You miss him.  -Joey T.

“I’m fine,” were her last words.  -Kiely R.

Bruises show more when she’s alone.  -Kylie R.

She blossomed like flowers in spring.  -Jackie O.

Maybe I should open my eyes.  -Ashley S.

A full story with ripped pages.  -Daizjon P.

I think these are great!  I hope you enjoyed.  Work this into a lesson this coming week, and let me know how it goes!

And if you are looking for more cool storytelling, check out my interview series here.

Happy reading!


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