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1 powerful strategy in 6 words

Today on the podcast, we are discussing the 6-word story strategy. I first learned about this strategy five years ago at a STEM camp. Yes, as teachers, we get to keep learning, and I attended a camp all about STEM topics like robotics and coding. In addition to learning about these topics, I also learned about fantastic instructional strategies. One of those strategies was a 6-word story. I continue to use this strategy in my classes! They are fun to implement and allow students to review their learning, and it is a great way to check in to see what students have learned. Let's jump in with the 6-word story. First, we will describe the strategy, how to set it up, and when you can use it in your lesson planning.

What is a 6-word story?

Students create a 6-word story about a topic. This 6-word story can be a summary, main points, or highlights of the topic. Students can create this 6-word story in a lot of different ways. It can be a complete sentence, six words that describe the topic that is bullet-pointed, or an acrostic poem.

How do we set it up with tech or without

  • If you want to use paper/pencil, you can give students a sticky note or index card to jot down their 6-word story.

  • You can also head to my TPT store to grab the freebie - a 6-word story template you can print out and use immediately in class.

  • You can also use edtech to get the same effect. Using edtech is effective if you want to show other responses on the board. For example, Lumio has a 6-word story activity template on their program. You can head to Lumio, create a free account, and try it out today. With Lumio, students can write their responses in a text box, use images to support their story, or describe their six words. Another benefit of using the edtech is that you can keep the responses and show their responses to others.

When can I use it in a lesson? There are many ways to use this during a lesson.

  • Entrance ticket - as they come in, they have a prompt to write a 6-word story about what they remember from the homework or the reading.

  • Exit ticket - a six-word story about the main idea or topic they learned in class.

  • Formative assessment during a lesson.

  • You can also put some parameters on your 6-word story. I tell my students they can create a 6-word story without using the following words…. For example, if I had my students write a 6-word story about component 1A in the Danielson framework, but they can't use the words pedagogy or content knowledge in their 6-word story. This helps them edit and rephrase their learning in their own words.

Overall, a 6-word story is a fantastic strategy to get your students to reflect on their learning. They can also show their 6-word story in a new way using edtech to demonstrate their learning with Lumio. I would love to read about how you use a 6-word story in your class - tag me on social @Sfecich with your idea.

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