Six-Word Story Game to Break the Classroom Ice... After the Break

When I walk out into the world, I’m usually wearing a T-shirt with one of my Six-Word Memoirs on it. I wear my story on my shirt because it starts a conversation. After all, when you’re in line at the post office or coffee shop next to a guy with a tee that says, “Big hair, big heart, big hurry;” “So much crying, the baby, too;” or “Carbohydrates call my name every day,” how can you not ask him what it’s about? I wear my story to start a conversation and, even in the brief time spent in line, maybe even to make a connection with a stranger.

Breaking the Ice

As your students return from winter break to yet another rough time for schools, reconnecting them to each other has never been more important. Even in pre-COVID times, the six-word format has been especially popular among teachers after school breaks.

Here’s how it works:

1. Each student writes a Six-Word Memoir. Let them know that their six words don’t have to be about their whole life but rather can be one small part of it, perhaps even something they experienced, watched, or read over the break.

2. Collect the stories and then read each memoir aloud or write the memoirs, one by one, on the board.

3. The class guesses whose memoir belongs to who. Within minutes, your students will learn something new about their classmates (“Wow, Fiona got a ferret”!”), and their Six-Word stories will spark longer conversation in the days and weeks that follow.

Pro Tip: Include your own Six-Word Memoir in the mix. Sharing something about your life that your students didn’t know can create a small but meaningful connection to you.

If you haven’t introduced Six-Word Memoirs to your students yet, January is a perfect time. If your students are already seasoned Six-Word scribes, then you’re one step ahead. Either way, break the ice and warm your students up with the “How well do you know your classmates?” game.

Written by: 

Larry Smith
"Big heart, big heart, big hurry"

Share what you created with your students!

If you wish to share what you and your students came up with please post to Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok with the hashtags #sixinschools #icebreakergames and we'll re-share with the greater Six-Word Memoirs community! 

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