Last year, a student spoke to me about missing class for one week due to a family trip. What could she do to make up the work? After conferencing with her, it was decided that she would keep a writing journal about her travels. She was visiting China, Nepal, and India. She could capture the finer moments in each of those countries while producing authentic writing.
TEACHING JOURNAL WRITING IN THE CLASSROOM
Journal writing is an open-form type of writing that can be taught in the classroom. Journal writing can be informal which makes it popular to countless individuals, especially those who might not consider themselves writers. Teaching journal writing in the classroom as an open form of writing gives it the following qualities:
Illustrates human significance
Often in journal writing, the author speaks from personal experience highlighting the first person narrator. Journals often contain stories of significance – the author wants to capture a person, a scene, or an experience that left an impression with them. Journal writing has a natural audience with a purpose that ties to that audience.
Remind your students about the features of journal writing with this printable poster! It will add a great graphic to your classroom and support students as they practice multiple types of writing.
BENEFITS OF JOURNAL WRITING IN THE CLASSROOM
There are numerous benefits of journal writing, including allowing students to gain new insights about a culture, problem, or event, providing individuals an outlet for recovery or reflection, and utilizing a life-long authentic writing skill for a specific purpose.
Education World interviewed various teachers who have made daily journal writing a staple in their classroom curriculum. Read what they have to say about the expected and unexpected benefits of journal writing!
If you can't make journal writing a daily practice in the classroom, start by dedicating two classroom starters a week to writing in journals. To assist you, I've created a simple Journal WritingTemplate you can download for students!
JOURNAL WRITING PROMPTS FOR STUDENTS
To ensure students engage in different types of journal writing, teachers can alternate between free writing and journaling prompts.
With free writing, students are provided an opportunity to express themselves without the pressure of having to answer a question, complete a sentence, or tell a story. Free writing can also have incredible emotional benefits for students!
With journal writing prompts, students are provided a variety of questions and sentence starters to start their journal entry. For some students this takes away the pressure of having to choose a writing topic and allows them to just freely write.
Download a list of 33 Journal Writing Topics for Students for your classroom.