The Five Love Languages of Memoirs

Meagan Boozer, Third Grade, River Gate Elementary

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


This unit will set up Writer’s Workshop for the year while you get to know your students, and your students get to know themselves. Integrating Lucy Calkins’ curriculum through a Five Love Language lens will create a structured, personal workshop time.  The goal of the unit is give students a foundation for writing personal narratives; in other words, memoirs. Strategic activities will encourage students to identify the Five Love Languages in mentor text and then use that knowledge to find their own while brainstorming new topic ideas.

            The Five Love Languages was created by Gary Chapman. He has written several approaches, including The Five Love Languages of Children.  Most people have one or two dominant love languages. When people respond to an individual in their dominant love language, that is when they feel the most loved.  The Love Languages are words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, quality time and gifts.

            As time goes on in the school year, teachers naturally figure out children’s love languages. If a student responds better to a high five as opposed to a note of encouragement, a teacher notices. Teachers strategically individualize. This unit teaches the Five Love Languages and uses them to curate memories.  It is probable one or two Love Languages will be “easier” for students to brainstorm memories for. This is more than likely that child’s Love Language.

Integrating the Love Languages with Lucy Calkins creates a structured writing time, with an organic, safe approach to memoirs. The unit is designed for students to have a routine block but it still is an approach where students have the autonomy to choose the memories they write about.