Sunday, August 7, 2016

6 Word Mottos and DigiLit Sunday

I am excited to be a part of DigiLit Sunday. I believe technology is an essential tool for learning today. As I begin to think about our new school year, I know that one area I want to grow in this year is my ability to help my students set goals for themselves, see that goals are short term and long term, and help my students to reach some goals, abandon goals when needed, and keep striving toward others. Technology can aid and enhance our class and our experience in so many ways. Goal setting requires a destination, but also requires commitment and small steps along the voyage. One beginning of the year activity I will complete for myself and with my 6th grade gifted students is to create a 6 word motto to shape our work and actions this year. 

This comes from an idea I have seen in several forms: 6 word stories and 6 word memoirs. The idea originally came through an exercise created by Smith Magazine and popularized by the book Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Famous and Obscure Writers. I ran across this idea when looking into ways to boost student creativity last spring. The idea is that even through, and especially through the use of limits, work can be more interesting and creative not less interesting or creative. in other words more, is less and less is more. If this is an area you have not yet explored, I do recommend looking at this interesting way of thinking.

 In this opening lesson, I encourage students to brainstorm and create their own motto based on their beliefs and what they believe. I have a Google Slide which I call our 6 word Motto Ebook where students can put their finished product. Students will use technology for this task in many ways. I ask students to research sayings and quotes, list words that describe what they believe or want to believe this year. I encourage students to create their motto be drawing, using images, creating their own images, and more. I will show students my example where I used Google Draw, paper and markers, took a selfie, used a graphic frame, and created a voice recording in Chrome to put together my own motto to inspire me this year and perhaps for years to come. I will be interested to see what students create for a motto and how well we each live into our mottos as the school year goes by. We will challenge ourselves and each other to live into our motto, perhaps even change our motto as we need, and reach for something that we each believe we want to become to make ourselves better! We will learn from each other!

I hope to share our mottos with parents at our parent night, and with others in our school and beyond! I look forward to learning about my creative students through their self-created self-inspired 6 word mottos. I also look forward to the inspiration each can instill in each other and how each student will inspire me. 

Technology allows my students to create their mottos with interesting, unique formats that will share as much about each of them as their own motto will. 

 Google Slideshow for 6 word motto


  1. Kristi, Thanks for joining DigiLitSunday and giving me this great idea to start the year. We do not have Google Classroom but there are many other tech sources I can use to show our class mottos. Thanks!

  2. Hi, Kristi.
    I love the idea of using the six word motto as not only an introduction to each other but also to the digital tools your students will be using this year. What a great way to extend this project. Thank you!