In this article, we'll explore how journal writing in the classroom or at home can keep students engaged in writing! Plus, download a list of 33 Journal Writing Prompts for Students that will encourage students to write daily.
Teaching Journal Writing
Journal writing is an open-form type of writing. Journal writing can be informal which makes it popular with students, especially those who might not consider themselves writers. Teaching journal writing to students 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. 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 Journaling for Students
There are numerous benefits of journal writing, including allowing students to gain new insights about culture, problems, or events, providing individuals an outlet for recovery or reflection, and utilizing a life-long authentic writing skill for a specific purpose.
Journaling and journal prompts also allow students to put their grammar skills to practice while engaging in low-stakes writing. To enhance the benefits of journal writing, encourage students to experiment with new grammar skills in the context of their own writing. For example, if students are working on subject pronouns, plural, and possessive, they could answer a journal writing prompt about something they did with a friend. When they are done writing their journal entry, students can go back through their response and circle singular possessive pronouns, underline plural possessive pronouns, etc.
Education World interviewed various teachers who have made daily journal writing a staple in their curriculum. Read what they have to say about the expected and unexpected benefits of journal writing!
Fun Journal Writing Prompts For Students
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. During times of distance learning, students can complete daily journal writing prompts at home. To assist you in getting journal writing started, I've created a simple Journal WritingTemplate you can download for students! This is a great PDF printable for students to complete via Google Drive. Check out Vocab Gal's tutorial for converting PDFs so they can be completed online and submitted for grading.
To ensure students engage in different types of journal writing, teachers can alternate between free writing and journaling prompts.
With freewriting, students are provided an opportunity to express themselves without the pressure of having to answer a question, complete a sentence, or tell a story. Freewriting 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 entries. For some students, this takes away the pressure of having to choose a writing topic and allows them to just freely write.