Everyone experiences life differently. Everybody has moments of triumph, of happiness, of frustration, of loss, and of content. Everyone in our school has experiences and ideas that shape their identity and craft their story. The BHS Six Word Memoir project was designed to help our community understand a little bit about who we all are and what we are all feeling; it was designed to give us some insight into the lives of the people we share our days with.
This year, as we work to integrate the BHS Core Values into our curriculum and school culture, the English Department is taking steps to ensure that students have a real sense of what those values mean. In addition to making changes to our academic curriculum, we have also worked to present those values visibly throughout the school. One small step in this process is our school-wide Six Word Memoir Project.
All students in the school spent time in their English class talking about Smith Magazine’s Story of Six and the power of crafting a six word memoir. Many English teachers connected this project to the school’s essential questions, specifically those focusing on identity and perspective. Others introduced the project as an effort to build community in the building. Once students completed their six word memoirs, teachers posted them above the lockers in the English hall and invited the school community to read through them. We noted that some will feel familiar, some will prompt laughter, some are a little heartbreaking; yet, all of the memoirs represent the people in our school and each one of those people has a story worth sharing and worth acknowledging.
A small sample of students’ Six Word Memoirs