TRY THIS TOMORROW: 5-10-15-20
Pitchfork describes its 5-10-15-20 feature as “Talking to our favorite artists about the music of their lives, five years at a time.” Musicians identify the music they were listening to when they were 5, 10, 15, and so on and reflect on the impact it had on them.
This is such an interesting structure for personal writing and reflecting—it could be easily adapted for students to write their own histories using the same format. Students can use music or think about any other recurring influence over time: books, movies, tv shows, travel, friends, places they have lived, etc. Depending on their chosen focus, students might also play with the timeline. For example, they could reflect on each month across a year, select something to represent every grade in high school, or use elementary, middle, and high school to organize their ideas.
Using 5-10-15-20 is a really flexible way to incorporate personal writing.