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Thinking About Their Lives in 3 Words

Thinking About Their Lives in 3 Words

Written by Keia Pannell
November 08, 2011

On a Saturday morning about a year ago I was only half paying attention to Good Moring America’s weekend morning news program. They announced that after the break they would be back with “Your Three Words.” I wondered what that was about. The idea seemed interesting and fun. When they returned they told us about the music and then aired the segment. What I saw immediately put a smile on my face. There were images of people, little kids, old people, animals, babies, – everyone telling us what was important in their lives at this moment in the simplicity of 3 words. There were posters of people celebrating being cancer free, celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, retirements; there were people celebrating graduations at all levels. I immediately began thinking about what I would say. I wanted to do it. Send in a video and tell the world my three words. I tried to put something together but it wasn’t coming together as easily as I had hoped, but I wasn’t giving up. Then it gave me another idea. I could take this to school. This would be a great lesson to talk about word choice and make it relevant to the students. I began developing a plan.

At the time we were in 1st period tutoring mode at my school. The students I had were 10th graders who had already taken the writing test. So, it was a challenge for me to make writing meaningful for them. When they walked into my classroom that Tuesday was I so excited to share with them what we were going to do. Of course they weren’t convinced that anything we were doing was fun, but I think they were pleasantly surprised. The segment was new to them so I showed them videos of previous segments from ABC’s website. Once I told them we were going to record it they got a little excited. Since I had them twice that week I figured we would work on the words on Tuesday and record on Thursday. We talked a little bit more about the words they had to choose. Many were concerned they could only write 3 words. That is when I reviewed with them word choice. After a few more questions I let them work. I walked around and some students knew right away what they were going to write and others struggled. I stressed that it had to be something relevant to their lives at this moment.   

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