Journal writing is an effective and engaging way for teachers to help students develop a true love of writing. It is a form of reflective writing, where you can use it to consider and respond to something you have read or learned. It is also an exploratory and reflective form of writing, as journals can provide you with an opportunity to explore new ideas and writing strategies, as well as to reflect on what you have learned or read. When you're ready to start writing with a message, you'll read the message, take a moment to think about what you want to say, and then start expressing your thoughts in your journal.
You can write with a fountain pen on a leather-bound book if that inspires you, or you can write with your lucky pencil on the back of dollar bills if you're superstitious and rich. Journal projects assigned in class may include your ideas about daily experiences, reading tasks, current events, or scientific experiments. Students employ a wide range of strategies while writing and use different elements of the writing process appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes. For example, students can write from the perspective of an personified character, such as an animal or other non-human, to personify, research, and learn more about the personified character, and they can write a fictitious version of a diary.
Dictate or write a class journal interactively (see Interactive writing) or in small groups. Some may choose to use a diary or a message to write, use a specific topic or express themselves by drawing. Record student ideas in a group chart titled Our Journal Ideas. Next, take a mini-lesson on how to start sentences to write an interesting diary.
Ask students if they were struck by a phrase from Diary of a Worm that made the diary exciting and fun to read. Make a list on graph paper or on a white board. Re-read the sections of the book to learn more and add them to the list. Take suggestions from students for other interesting phrases to start a journal.
Make a poster titled Sentence Starters in the Journal that students can refer to with the Diary of a Worm Sentence Starters list and their own suggestions. Each student using the Journal Center can keep their journal entry in a manila file folder labeled with their name. Responding to student journals and using teacher-student dialogue journals can also be an effective means of communication and evaluation (Atwell, 199). As a result, students who keep regular journals tend to be more attuned to their feelings, feel more comfortable expressing their opinions, and are more skilled at forming logical and consistent arguments in their writing. Keeping a journal is one of the most effective and engaging ways for teachers to help students develop a true love of writing. The more students write in a journal, the more they can explore ideas for more formal essays and improve their writing skills.