Keeping the essential – Writing in 3 words

I’ve always been a words lover; those close to me know how much I love talking and expressing myself with lots (and lots) of words. However, I’ve discovered through time how powerful fewer words (and often silence) can be. I’ve also realized how important it is to communicate this idea to my students. Especially nowadays that we are all bombarded with tons of information, I feel it’s essential to show our kids how they can focus on the necessary and be able to identify the information they need among all the information overload. I really like how Twitter promotes that through the 140 word limit -it’s a reminder that keeping things simple and to a minimum can have a more powerful effect than writing long (and often boring) texts. One of the recent trends on Twitter is the #MakeLifeBetterin3words. The minute I saw it, I remembered Kevin Stein’s presentation on iTDI and his reference to six-word poems as well as Hana Ticha’s post on it. I’ve often used 1 -3 word activities with my students to elicit feelings and attitudes, but this trend actually relates to something beyond that. That is taking action and pushing forward change. It represents a new challenge, not so much in the sense of writing, but in the idea of writing for a greater purpose.
Some od the ideas that sprang to mind regarding its classroom use are:

  • Using 3 words could be the beginning of a new cycle of kindness and inspiration in the class by creating a wall of inspirational 3 word quotes. 
  • 3 word quotes could also be used as writing prompts. (I also think it would be awesome to use 1 word prompts, such as “Go” or “Stay”)
  • 3 words could be used for students to talk about their preferences/hobbies/personalities but also to create their own life motos.
  • They could be used to create videos supporting different issues e.g. Sports are life.
  • I also feel 3 words could be seen as a way to give more meaningful feedback to students, e.g. Don’t give up, Nothing is impossible etc.

I’m sure there are many more ways to explore the magic of 3 words! What do you think?

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