Keeping a Journal
Lead students through the process of journal writing. Remind them of some significant journals from history:
- Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl. Her journal not only helped her think through all of the horrible (and wonderful) experiences of her daily life, but also helped everyone else in the world understand the incomprehensible Holocaust.
- Harry S. Truman's presidential diary. Truman's brief daily comments and notes give readers an intimate peek at what's it's really like to be president.
- Virginia Woolf's diary entries provide a provocative account of the daily musings of a literary great.
- William Still, a conductor on the Underground Railroad and the son of a former slave, used a journal to record details about runaways he helped escape along the railroad. In 1872, he turned his notes into a book.
Help your students realize that keeping a journal will help them think more deeply about their lives. And doing so will also help biographers talk about them after they have gone out to change the world.