Sixth Grade Girls Practice Writing with Personal Memoir
Vicki Koehn, middle school English teacher, offered a creative approach to practicing writing. At a critical point in learning to write, she gave her sixth grade girls an assignment to write a ten-chapter book about the subject they know best – themselves.
In their memoirs, Mrs. Koehn asked the girls to explain how they got their names, and then offer an account of their early childhood and family, as well as family traditions, places they love and pets, incredible experiences they've had, their passions, and the future. She gave each girl freedom of expression for the assignment, allowing for various different content, designs, and methods of putting the book together.
The preparation for the project included research, time-management practice, and work with technology for formatting.The culminating portion involved a presentation to the class, and the girls had an opportunity to read the writing of their classmates and find out a little more about them.
After listening to other girls’ stories, Eleanor Merchant ’23 said, “Once you find out what a person is like behind the scenes, it can change your perspective on them. When you start to hear everyone’s stories, you realize how much you might have in common with them.”
Projects like these allow Hutchison girls to polish academic writing skills and foster creativity while getting to know their peers better. The girls expressed their gratitude to Mrs. Kohen in a class-wide reflection: “We are proud of our writing, and we realize that we will treasure these books for many years to come!”