The Memoir “To write one’s life is to live it twice” -Patricia Hampl
Think about this!! Memories are the days, the minutes your life is made up of. Remembering requires you to reach into not only the back of your head, but the back of your life, to recall what the heart is made up of. The value of memories is, basically, the value of life. • -Rachel Brotman, 6th grade
A Little About Memoirs • A memoir interprets experience • The writer needs to be honest and reflective • It is not a tell-all • It is a slice of ordinary life-a certain time period, a special relationship, or a particular look on life • The writer stands in one place and time and looks back from that vantage point to make meaning of a distant time • Memoirs are about retrospection and reflection • The “truth of your experience”
Memoir vs. an Autobiography • A memoir is a particular event, time, person, or place that had a significant impact on your life • An autobiography is exploring your whole life and looking at a consistent theme • Memoirs = what you remember • Autobiography = research
Memoirs are about… • A person • A place • An animal • An object • An event
Before Reading • Good readers: make connections, question, visualize, infer, and synthesize information. • Readers make connections to the books they read by either connecting it to another book they have read (text-to-text) or they connect it with something in their own life (text-to-self)
After Reading • Did the story remind you of anything from your own life or from another story (or movie) you know? • Good readers make these types of connections.
Before Reading • “Listen as a writer.” • What is the writer’s purpose for writing this story? • What did he or she want you to know about the subject? • What does this person want you to know?
After Reading • This particular piece is called a memoir • A memoir - focuses on the writer and a special, memorable, important person in the writer’s life either in the past or present
Class Discussion • Who is the story about? • What is the relationship between the subject and the writer? • What is the writer’s purpose? (What does the writer want you to know about this relationship?) • What is the one impression the writer wants you to have about the subject? • How does the writer show you how important his/her subject is?
Class Discussion Continued… • How does the writer show you how important his/her subject is in the piece? Through his/her thoughts? Through his/her actions? Through details and descriptions? Through his/her feelings on the subject? • Does the writer share memories, experiences, or events that he/she shared with the person? • Where is this person now? • What are the writer’s thoughts or feelings about this person now? (These are the author’s insights)
Analysis Whenever we look at a piece of literature for text features we are analyzing the piece. Analyzing- looking at the parts that make up the whole- is a process that can be repeated in any genre
Create the list…. • In the next five minutes, create a list of the most important people in your life.
Pair Share • You have approximately seven minutes to pick a partner and discuss your list with that person. Talk about the important people in your lives. Discuss why they are important to you.
In your writer’s notebook… • Review the list, and the chart, you have created. You may free write about one or all of the individuals on your list. Your focus is to recall significant details and memories of this (or these) people. • You must have at least 2 paragraphs when you are finished. (A paragraph is at least 4 to 5 sentences )
Before Reading • Good readers visualize or create pictures in their mind • You should always read something two times • You read the first time for fun • You read the second time for meaning • Think about this: How many times have you listened to your favorite song?
After Reading Class Discussion • Where is this place? • What is the writer’s purpose in writing this book? What is the main idea that he/she wants you to think about this place? • What descriptive words or ideas does the writer use to describe this place? • What memories does the writer share with you? • How does the writer show you the importance of this place? Through the description of it? Through his/her feelings about it? Through his or her thoughts about it? • How does the writer feel when he/she thinks of this place now?
Create a list • Take the next five minutes and list important places in your own life
Class Discussion • What are some of the places you listed?
In your writer’s notebook…. • What place stood out for you? Review the list and the chart you have created. Free write about one or all of the places on your list. Your focus should be to recall significant details and memories of the place. • Hint: It is easier to pick someplace you have been to many times before. • You should have at least two paragraphs when you are finished.
Before Reading • All good readers make connections, question, and visualize while they are reading. In addition, good readers make inferences. • Inferring- is taking information that you know, adding new information, and coming up with a new or improved idea.
For Example • You see a woman with a frown on her face holding a leash in her hand. • What can you infer?
“She lost her dog” • Exactly. However, the fact that she lost her dog was never stated. Good readers take the information, and combine it with what they already know to understand the author’s meaning.
What descriptive words or ideas does the writer use to help the reader get a picture in his/her mind? • How does the writer show the importance of this relationship? Through his/her thoughts, or feelings, or through the use of details and descriptions? • How does the writer feel about the animal now?
What is the writer’s purpose in writing this? What does he or she want you to know about this animal? • How does the writer help you to understand the relationship with this object? Did they tell stories? Did they give examples? • What details does the writer include that make the animal seem real to you?
Quick…. • Write a list of significant animals in your own life
Pair Share Time • Meet with your partner and create a chart • Take the most interesting animal on your list and create a chart. On the chart list where the animal is now, give a brief description of the animal, and explain why the animal is important to you.
In your writer’s notebook… • Take the animal that came to mind from our conversations. Free write about one or all of the animals on the list. Your focus is to recall significant details and memories of that animal. • Your entry should be two paragraphs!
Think of your favorite object • Why is it significant to you? • How did you get this object? When? Before Reading: Take notes as we read “Bob” on the following: • Questions • Predictions • Important ideas • Visual images
Synthesizing • Putting all of the parts together • When you “get-it” you are syntheszising
After Reading • What is the object? • What descriptive words, phrases, or ideas does the writer use to describe the object? • What memories does he/she share about himself/herselfand the object? Through his/her thoughts and feelings? Through the details and description?
Class Discussion Continued • How did he/she get this object? Why is the object important? • What insights does the reader share? • What type of emotional connection does the reader have with this object?
In Your Writer’s Notebook • Think about your favorite object. • Freewrite about the story behind your object and discuss its significance.