These past days I’ve been living on the edge or maybe just being really forgetful. I dont know why but I didn’t have an umbrella with me when I left school. I always have an umbrella tucked in my bag. You never know when it will rain here in Singapore. Yesterday, when I left school it was getting dark and overcast, but it started to rain only a few moments before I reached my apartment building.
As I left school today, it started to rain. I secretly hoped that by the time my train ride arrived at my destination the rain would miraculously stop after 45 minutes or so. Once I arrived at the MRT(train) station, I saw people with wet umbrellas coming in. I stopped by the grocery store inside, tried to take up some time and couldn’t really tell if it was still raining or not. I continued with my stubborn attitude and decided not to spend money on an umbrella. As I looked outside at the long 12 minutes between me and the comforts of my apartment, the rain seemed to be coming down even harder.
It was too late to buy an umbrella now. I carried my groceries (a bag of chips and ice cream, don’t judge) and put my grey cardigan over my white shirt and embraced the rain. I listened to the rain. I soaked up the rain. I felt the cool rain trickle down on my face. I finally felt refreshed.
Our last writing workshop unit of the year was our memoir unit. This is probably one of my favorite units to teach to the students. One of the reasons I enjoy this unit is that I can really see the growth of my students as a writer from the beginning of the year. Also, I love that memoirs are a reflective piece that digs a bit deeper than our personal narrative units (first unit of the year). It’s always amazing to see how fifth graders can reflect so deeply about their life at 11 years of age. I’ve had a range of writing pieces in this unit, from memoirs about a sleepover, insect obsessions, passing away of a grandparent, moving to a new school and country, reflections on fifth grade and more.
During our memoirs unit, these are the mentor texts we used:
- Excerpts from Ralph Fletcher’s, Marshfield Dreams
- Short stories from Sandra Cisneros’, The House on Mango Street- Hairs, My Name, Papa Who Wakes Up Tired in the Dark
- Short story from Cynthia Rylant, ”My Grandmother’s Hair”
- Picture book from Cynthia Rylant, When I Was Young and in the Mountains
- Moon Soup by Janet Wong
In addition to creating a mentor text packet with memoirs for my students to have as a reference, I like to teach them how to write 6-word memoirs. This is where they tell their own story in only 6 words. Then, I made a really simple movie with their 6-word memoirs afterwords. I had the students write in big letters their 6-word memoir on a sheet of white copy paper, then, I piled them together and voila: Team Inspire’s 6-word memoir movie
Here is Ernest Hemingway’s famous 6-word memoir: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
My 6-word memoir: Summer in NY means endless possibilities.
What is your 6-word memoir? Please leave yours in the comment section!
west harlem sunset