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Introduce: Journal Writing

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Lesson Type: Introduce
Grade: 1, 2, 3
Group Size: Small Group, Large Group, Whole Class
Length: 20 minutes
Goal: Given a story and an example of a journal entry, students will understand the purpose of a personal journal.

Materials: Board or chart paper, Journal Entry Sample (print here). Suggested reading: Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin

What to Do


Copy the Journal Entry Sample or write your own sample on the board or chart paper.


1. Explain the lesson.

Today we will be talking about personal journals. A journal is a place where writers can share their personal thoughts, feelings, opinions, and experiences. Many writers add to their journals every day, so they include the date in their journal entry. Here is an example of what a journal entry could look like.

2. Read the Journal Entry Sample to the class.


3. Discuss the sample.

The sample that I just read was about a teacher’s experience during the summer. Who can tell me one of the thoughts, feelings, opinions, or experiences that the teacher expressed in this journal entry?

4. Direct students to write a response to one of the following questions in writing.

How do you think you will feel on the last day of school? Do you think that it is a good idea to eat candy all the time? Have you ever been to a science museum? Do you think that penguins bite?

5. Review the purpose of a journal entry.

The answers that you just wrote could be part of a journal entry. Personal journals allow writers to share their thoughts, feelings, opinions, and experiences with the reader.


For Advanced Students:

Encourage these students to think of their own questions and then ask them to write their own responses to the questions.

For Struggling Students:

Encourage these students to write any words that would help to answer the questions. Accept one-word details and drawings from them.

For ELL Students:

Explain any necessary background concepts before reading the journal entry.

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