Six-Word Pandemic Memoirs

Teaching in a pandemic could have led to a terrible, horrible, no good year, but that didn’t stop Ms. Rachel Lloyd’s class from making the most of their hybrid learning experience. In May of 2020, students in Ms. Lloyd’s English I classrooms tried their hand at crafting their own six-word memoirs about being students during the pandemic. Six-Word Memoir, a program created by Larry Smith, tasks individuals with a simple challenge: Can you tell your life story in six words? 

Students first read through examples of six-word memoirs and then used prompts to jumpstart their own. The goal was only to post one six-word sentence, but students couldn’t and wouldn’t stop there as they were inspired and creatively challenged to narrow their experience down to its core. Larry Smith himself noticed the diligent effort students made and chose two Suffield submissions, along with one of Ms. Lloyd’s, to be published in the recently released A Terrible, Horrible, No Good Year: 500 Stories on the Pandemic. Submission examples include:

Keyvanna Bennett ’24: “Same movie watched over ten times.” 
Jack Caron ’24: “Rona ruins school, so does Monday.”
Ms. Lloyd: “Are you okay? Now onto Shakespeare.”

On Monday, November 1st, Ms. Lloyd joined Larry Smith on Connecticut Public Radio’s “Here and Now.” In the interview, Ms. Lloyd shared her students’ and her own six-word stories and discussed the sense of camaraderie that this project brought to the classroom.