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Spotlight on Strategies:6 word story

Students predict what happened before and after the image was taken, providing reasons. They create a six word story based on their predictions. Watch a video segment (or another image) and create three versions of a six word story. Share stories in pairs to select a final one.

Big idea

By writing a summary with a limited number of words, students must focus on the important ideas and become thoughtful in their word choice. The purpose of this strategy is for students to discern the most important ideas and summarise information for any topic by studying an image video, or article.

Overview of strategy

  • Ages:Primary & Secondary
  • Media type used:Video, Image & Text
  • Preparation time:Low
  • Download strategy PDF


A sample image for practice; an image, video segment, or article that reinforces a concept from the unit of study; paper for images; pen/pencil

  1. Introduce the strategy to your students by selecting an image. Have the students describe what they see. Then, ask them to predict what happened before and after the photo was taken. Students should provide a reason or use evidence from the image for their shared response.
  2. Students will create their six word story from the first practice image.  Share their story with a partner to discuss the similarities and differences between their stories.
  3. Next, have students read an article, examine an image, or view a video segment. Ask them to create three different versions of a six word story to see how they can capture the concept in different ways.
  4. Students work in pairs to share their stories and select one final version. They should explain their thought process in the creation of their story.
  5. To finish up, students create a visual for their six word story.

Download template

Sum it up

This strategy is a great way to encourage students to creatively select important ideas and summarise.

More ideas
  • Another option for extending this strategy might be to use an online art or photo editing tool to have students layer their six word story to an image. When students use images from Discovery Education, the citation information is available to give proper attribution.
  • Small groups could work with different media and rotate round.

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