I came across a post about Jimmy Fallon the other day–where he asked people to describe their quarantine experience in 6 words. Now his was a Twitter thing…and with adults, so the results were funny. At the same time, I was thinking about ways to give my young students (8 and 9 year olds) space to express their experiences now that school is happening at home and they are mostly quarantined in their homes. So I took the loose idea from Jimmy Fallon and combined it with some ways of working that are familiar to my students.
Here was my assignment to them today:
On our 8th day of doing school from home because of the coronavirus, think about either something you are missing or something you are finding wonderful.
1. Take a photo to represent that thing. Be sure to use a photo technique. You may use minor editing on your photo.
2. Write a 6-word update. These are 6 carefully chosen words to express your feelings and communicate what you’re experience. (You can see my example) Only 6 words…try to avoid words like the, and, it… Type your 6-word update in Docs.
3. Click on the link to access the slide deck. Choose the next slide in the deck and insert your photo and copy your 6 words (you will need to insert a text box to paste) onto the slide. Be sure to include your name on the slide.
4. You may change the font if you like. Make sure it is big enough and clear enough to be easily read by others.
5. You may change the background color of your slide if you like. Please select a color from the theme (choices along the bottom)
6. Once you are done with your slide, please attach your poem and photo in Google Classroom to submit your work.
7. I can’t wait to see our slide deck develop! Be sure to be thoughtful and do quality work!
8. My slide is included so you can better understand what I am asking you to do.
And here are some of the results:
As you can see, the kids can see both the benefits and the drawbacks of their time at home. The biggest loss they are feeling is the social aspects of going to school. They miss their friends…and their teachers. And we definitely miss them too.
So my students’ 6-word coronavirus status updates are not funny, but they are honest and sweet, hopeful and very much all kid! I’ll be looking for more ways to allow for expression without being too heavy-handed.
What have you been doing to document your experience as we journey through this global pandemic? Have you done anything to facilitate the process for the young people in your lives? I’d love to borrow more ideas!