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Encourage short, focused storytelling, easy to share with others, writing stories in 100 words (or fewer), or 6 words or 2 sentences, etc.
Improving writing skills and encouraging creative expression and confidence; the brevity makes it easier for students to read each others' stories.
It will also help students focus their message and understand the value of quality over quantity.
It will help students in future endeavours that have word count limits. It will also reduce the amount of reading professors need to do!
- Prepare a prompt for students to write their stories for.
- Explain the value of word limits and learning to work with exact word limits.
- Make sure students know how to use MS Word or Google docs word counter, or use a word counter extension in the browser (or learning how to use Control-Shift-C to count words in highlighted text if using GoogleDoc, etc.).
Variable, but the idea is that shorter writing takes less time to write, to revise, to read, to comment on, etc. — more time/space for more stories!
Adaptations and examples
Laura's students share their stories in their blogs, but they can also be shared in a GoogleDoc, Padlet, etc. (example from Jessica Knott: Uplift and Shine in Exactly 55).
As you can see, Laura uses 100-word stories; Jessica uses 55-word. These are things to be written asynchronously and shared with others. You can also do individual 6-word or 10-word (or random length by picking from a deck of cards) stories. Or you can do group storytelling where everyone’s contribution to the story is a certain length and build on each other live or in a Google doc. The shorter stories can be done synchronously or asynchronously.
Writing space: Google Docs is a great writing environment for sharing and feedback, especially with the handy word counter built in that lets you highlight a chunk of text and get a word count for just that amount. Most word processors do the same.
Sharing space: can also be Google docs or something else like Padlet, etc., and if you want to publish it can be on a Google site, blog, Pressbooks, etc.