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Kids tell funny, heartbreaking pandemic stories — in just 6 words

Lots of people have told their stories of life during the pandemic. Few of them, however, have put themselves on a word limit. But that’s exactly the point of a new book, called "A Terrible, Horrible, No Good Year: Hundreds of Stories on the Pandemic."

It’s a collection of six-word stories, compiled by Larry Smith, founder and editor of the Six-Word Memoir project. He says the format can help writers — and non-writers — by either helping them get started, or by helping them boil down their big thoughts.

As part of his effort, Smith has also developed a series of free teacher’s guides over the years. He says the one dealing with the pandemic was downloaded more in the first three months than all of the previous five guides combined. And that includes teachers in Arizona.

April Goodman is a sixth-grade English language arts and social studies teacher at Mohave Middle School in the Scottsdale Unified School District. She says she started using the six-word curriculum last year when doing Zoom teaching as a way to get to know her students. 

The Show spoke with both Smith and Goodman to learn about the the impact of this format.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.