Sunday, June 5, 2011

Journal Writing ~ Summer Challenge



This summer challenge your child to keep a journal. I used to tutor students over the summer and I would always start my sessions by having the child write in his or her journal. I would give them 5-10 minutes (longer if they would like) to write about anything from my list of topics. I usually would give them three choices and they choose the one that they liked the best. We would paste it on to the page and then the child would proceed to write.

The beauty of journal writing is that it pours from the child's heart and mind. It is imaginative, creative, and exciting. Journal writing is not to be graded, critiqued, nor judged. It is writing in it's PUREST form. I LOVE IT!

There are many ways of making journal writing fun for your child. Here are the steps that I came up with:


1. Let your child choose their own journal and then let them personalize it! (Try the Dollar Store.) They need to take ownership of this very special writing space.


2. Let your child choose their own writing utensil. (I always let my students use a pen for their journal writing. Not only is it EXCITING for a child to write with a pen, but they cannot erase any of their mistakes which reinforces writing in it's PUREST form. I love that!)


3. Share some of your journals with your child. (I always loved to share my own journal entries from when I was in elementary school with my students.)


4. Take a few minutes before writing to model to your child what journal writing looks like.
5. Give your child a few topics to choose from to write about. (If they would rather write about something that they thought of, then that is great too!)

Here is a list that I used with my students:
  
Journal Prompts (ideas)

Cut out an idea and paste it in your journal.

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Write about a time when you were brave, or finish this sentence: I am brave because . . .

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Write about a time when you were helpful.

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Write about something or things that you do well.

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Write about three things that make you interesting.

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Write about a time when you were honest.

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Write about a time when you were dishonest.

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Write about favorite things to do at recess



Write about your best friends. Who are they? Why do you like them? What do you do together for fun?

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If you could have any animal in the world for a pet what animal would it be? Shark? Piranha? Alligator? Leech? Why?

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What country would you like to visit? Why?

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Write about the most exciting thing that ever happened to you.

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Write about a time when you were nice to someone in your family.

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Write about books that you like

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Write about your home

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Write about things you play with

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Write about soccer or other sports you like

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Write about your favorite foods

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Write about your school

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Write about your family

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Write about the world

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Write about yourself (describe yourself or write about your interests)

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Write about animals

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Write about your friends

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Write about a vacation

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Write about your favorite activity

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Write about your favorite candy

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Write about your favorite toy

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Write about your favorite computer or video game

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Write about what you are doing during summer vacation

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Write about what you do after the school day is over

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Write about how you are feeling

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Write about your favorite drink

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Write about a favorite friend

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Write about one way you can be kind to animals.

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Write about a time when you were mean to someone in your family.

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If you could have anything in the world what would it be?

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If you could be any super hero or video game character who would you be and why? What would you do?

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What would you do with a million dollars? And why?

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Write about a goblin named Billy who is blue and green and slimy.

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Write about yourself. What color is your hair? What do you look like? Write details.

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Pretend you are the president of the United States. What would you do?

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What would you do if you had magical powers?

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Write about an embarrassing moment. What happened? Who was there?

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Would you like to be on TV? Why? What would you like to do?

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If you were a pencil, what would you do? Or what would you draw?

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Write about your favorite cartoon character. Why is it your favorite?

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Who are your favorite sports players? What sports do they play?

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Write details about your life. Where were you born? Who do you live with? Where have you lived?

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Write about what would happen if one morning you woke up and you were a stuffed animal.

6. Allow your child enough time to write a page or so depending on their ability level. Encourage 
your child to add details in their writing.

7. Finally invite your child to read their entry aloud to you! ENJOY!

Happy Journal Writing!!!


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3 comments:

Teacher Mum said...

Thanks for the great ideas. I think journal writing is so valuable. The problem I always have is that those kids who really need to spend their holidays writing...don't do it.
I have even gone so far as to put journal topics into different envelopes and let the kid pull one surprise out of the box each day (spent hours putting it together) and it never got done.
I also go so far as to purchase a beautiful journal and pen...and never, ever get anything back.
*sigh*

Kim said...

Love this post! I've got to remember to have the students illustrate their journal entries when they are done with other work and need something to keep them busy! If you get a chance, you should come link up your blog on my Grade Level linky party. There's a preschool level or a general education level. :-)

alisha said...

wow beautiful painting and all question. really important questions and Nice summer planning.
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