We all love coming across a touching book that just speaks to us, and this week, I grabbed one at my favorite discount bookstore, Ollie’s (Good Stuff Cheap). If you haven’t heard of Ollie’s, then your pocketbook thanks you! Seriously, every single time I walk in, I leave with a handful. BUT…I do use each and every one. Promise! Anyway, I want to share how I used this treasure to teach memoir writing to my students.
Well, ironically, we are teaching memoirs and even though I had this book, it didn’t pop in mind when I was doing my plans. I had planned to use the book, Memoirs of a Goldfish for the introduction. I had all of my plans ready, went in the library to pull the book this morning, and man, it was checked out! What does a teacher do? Well, after a bit of juggling in my brain, it hit me that I had this gem sitting down in my room. Perfect!
I knew The Memory String would work well for memoirs, making connections, or theme. Ironically, we’re studying theme this week as well, so I actually made use of this book for two purposes. Yeah! With my group, I shared it as a read aloud pausing and questioning, pointing out the way the author developed the small moment, and how the words were carefully selected to create imagery. Truly, worked perfectly.
More about the Book
Here is Amazon’s Summary:
Using Our Observations
Analyzing memoirs helps students recognize the format that memoirs follow, and students see that memoirs focus on small moments in time rather than a lifetime. They noticed that it had a clear beginning, middle, and end.
If you are needing additional examples of memoirs, you might also check out these titles:
- Thank You Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
- When I was Young in the Mountain by Cynthia Rylant
- Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges, and
- Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian
Getting Started with Writing Memoirs
Writing memoirs with your students can be a great way to reflect on previous memories and celebrate the great things about each and every child. This freebie I put together might help you get started. My students’ finished pieces were very special. One even made tear up a little. I hope you experience the same.
Until next time, happy reading!