22 Dec Slice of Life: The Power of One Little Word
For the past two years we have participated in One Little Word. Ali Edwards began this idea in 2006. She reflects on how one little word can make such a difference in one’s life:
A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow.
Now that we have participated in One Little Word we truly understand the power of a single word. This experience has also inspired us to reflect on the power of an idea to make change in our world. It inspires us to invite students to realize that they write for more than a grade, or a score or a comment. They write to impact others, to inspire a change or to solve a problem. Our students need to know they have wonderful ideas and these ideas, however small or big they may seem, have the potential to change the world.
We do not personally know Ali, but we are now connected to her and so many others in this community because Ali had an idea. Her idea had the power to change people she has never and may never meet. It is so exciting and energizing to realize this power and to share it with young writers. Whether it is essay, poetry, fiction or informational writing, our words have the power to impact others and make change.
Last year we chose the words positive and mojo. Throughout the year we joke about our words, reflect on our words and push ourselves to use our words as an inspiration. Last month we took the time to discuss the journey of our words and realized one word continued to work its way into our conversation. We kept hearing it, discovering it and wondering about it. Although it wasn’t’ our word, it was the word we kept coming back to — choice.
We realized that in order to live with the words positive and mojo we each were making purposeful choices. Positive and mojo just didn’t happen we had to make a choice to bring them to life. Holding these words close gave us the strength to stay positive in the moments we were tested and the perspective to see magic in the ordinary. We may not be able to control what life brings, but we do have the power to choose how we will respond and to see the power in the world and people around us. These words kept us company this year and we realize gave us the power to make choices that helped us focus on the joys of life.
We have never tried OLW with students, but we think it is a great way to have them realize the power of words. If you want to learn more about One Little Word check out Ali’s website and stay tuned to Slice of Life on the Two Writing Teachers blog in January of 2016 when many slicers will share their OLW.