Memoirs Teacher Resources

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Follow Ernest Hemingway's lead and lead and teach your pupils to write their own six-word memoir!
Students analyze and identify elements of memoirs.  In this literature instructional activity students explore qualities to listen for while the teacher reads a memoir; they then break into groups and analyze a memoir independently.
Students describe events in their own lives as they write a memoir. In this memoir lesson plan, students also write a skit, musical, interview, or T.V. commercial.
Students discuss the idea of 6 word memoirs. In this technology lesson, students explore how using a small number of words sometimes is the best. Students practice using 6 word memoirs writing six words for various nursery rhymes and then drawing a picture for it as well.
If you are planning a unit on memoir and autobiographical narrative, you should consider this resource. Using Internet research skills, pupils review works by James Frey and Henry David Thoreau. In response to these works, learners become the memoir writers themselves and imitate Thoreau's style in an essay about a place that they retreat to. While the instructional activity cites a paid resource for research, you might adapt the instructional activity to include research that does not require the paid resource.
Using chapter 1 of Jerry Spinelli's Milkweed, middle schoolers write a personal memoir based on Spinelli's style and a Six Trait writing activity. The lesson suggests several ways to activate prior knowledge, including a picture book and a Kelly Clarkson song, but a teacher can choose what elements he or she thinks are necessary to the lesson. Word choice and idea development are the focus traits for this activity.
In this set of activity worksheets, students complete a variety of activities about the novel, Memoirs of a Geisha: matching, short answer, sentence completions and true/false. The activities are followed by a progress test.
Students create a memoir or poem about their favorite person or pet. For this favorite person or pet lesson plan, students also scan in pictures to PowerPoint and create a presentation about this person or pet as well.
"I want you to feel what I felt. I want you to know why story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth." Just who is this "I"? In the third of ten-lesson unit that uses The Things They Carried as the anchor text, class members examine the point of view of Tim O'Brien's famous novel. In a related discussion, the class considers the differences between memoir and fiction and consider how "a thing may happen and be a total lie; another thing may not happen and be truer than the truth."
Students sharpen their writing skills. In this writing strategies activity, students read selected memoirs and then write their own.
Seventh graders analyze how personal diaries and memoirs record actual events.  In this World History lesson, 7th graders compare and contrast diaries and memoirs from the Holocaust.  Students write as a way to explore one's own feelings and self.
Seventh graders explore the life of Gandhi using his autobiography and memoir. In this Gandhi exploration lesson, 7th graders analyze Gandhi's literary voice by reading his autobiography. Students identify literary techniques in Gandhi's writing and apply the techniques to complete their own memoirs in a writer's workshop.
Students analyze memoir as a genre. They then organize the information researched in the first lesson and put together their own family memoir. Students present information chronologically and thematically and draft an introduction and conclusion piece.
Students write their memoir. In this memoir lesson, students study the differences between an autobiography and a memoir. Students construct an outline as the basis for their memoir.
Encourage your middle and high schoolers to share their memories of a recent event. After reading a New York Times article, they discuss Elie Wiesel's memoir, Night. They write their own memoir about a significant event that affected their school or community. Using the Internet, they gather evidence that supports their view and write a final draft of their narrative.
Have your middle schoolers write a short story about themselves with an autobiography unit about Rosa Parks. They learn the difference between biographies and autobiographies, define the different types of autobiographies and determine how to identify which type of autobiography a book fits.  As a final assessment, they write a short memoir.
Start kids thinking about point of view and autobiographies by telling them a short story about your morning (first person), and then asking a volunteer to re-tell the story to you (second person). There are tips to help you tie this anticipatory activity into the nonfiction genre, and kids explore six types of autobiographies using a graphic organizer. They learn about how to identify a book as an autobiography using book features like the back cover summary. There are sample covers included that you can display or hand out, asking kids to look for genre clues. Writers synthesize these concepts by using one of four sentence starters to write a memoir of their own, taking on one of the autobiography types that resonated with them. There are six sample autobiography excerpts included for guided practice. Which words clues readers in to the genre?
Students identify various techniques used in memoirs. They reflect on similarities and differences betwee two authors. Students define the term memior. They write about various techiques they noticed the authors used. Students write a brief memoir piece in their notebooks.
By teaching memoir lesson plans, teachers can help students expand their awareness of different languages and cultures.
Interesting memoirs can be a springboard into some very enjoyable research assignments.

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