"The basic idea of this project is to tell the world who you are in SIX words. It's actually much more difficult than you think. This project was inspired by Smith Magazine but I think that it's a great way to get students thinking about who they are.
Once you accept this mission, students could create interesting individual ways or a class way of showing who they are (illustrations, podcasts, video, text, etc.) that best shows who they are. This will be displayed on a wiki that has already been created."
To introduce the project, I showed the students a slideshow of 6 Word Memoirs by NPR. Each student received a worksheet to jot down words that they felt described themselves (adjectives, nouns, goals, favorites, verbs). Once they had a batch of words ready, they headed to the computers to create "fridge magnets". These were manipulated until they had a 6 word phrase for themselves which they wrote on the back of the worksheet.
Imagine, if you will, these middle school students searching for 6 words and ONLY 6 words that come together to describe the very essence of self. This was fascinating to watch as the activity progressed. To bring their creativity out even further, I wanted them to express their memoirs visually. What better way to do this than with lots of motion, pictures, and loud music?
Now the fun part. I have an Educator Account with Animoto in which the students and I get free unlimited full-length video creation accounts with an all-access pass (the sign up process is not immediate, so leave yourself some lead time of a week or two before utilizing the service with students). Using the old gmail trick to make student accounts (teacher account + student name), each of my students has a login for Animoto. Better yet, everything they make gets emailed to me. This keeps everybody on their toes!
My 6 word memoir is: Technology geek Mom striving for balance
To keep everything uniform, I assigned the students to find 2 images per word (we are using copyright correct pictures & sources). Along with their 6 words, they have a total of 18 objects each in their Animoto projects. They were to choose music from the Animoto gallery and create a video. Students are still working on them, but a few have been posted on the 6 Word Memoir wiki under the Hampstead Academy page. The project process is also outlined on the wiki.
We would love to hear what you think about their work thus far - and keep checking back for more submissions once we are back from winter break. I am thinking about adding one more activity in which we look at all the 6 word memoirs with something like Wordle. Stay tuned!
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