Daily Lesson Planning
Special Note: Although children can write on the first day of school, it may be better to save journal writing for later (8-10 weeks into the year or at the beginning of the second semester). As children begin to learn about themselves as writers and feel somewhat comfortable with the idea, introduce journal writing and make time for it on a regular basis. Monthly journals give students, parents, and teachers a record of a child’s growth as a writer by the end of the year.
Introduction to Journals
- Read the entry in the boy’s journal and then discuss "We write in journals." Point out how the writer used a drawing and words to record his ideas. Let children know that they, too, can draw pictures and write words in their journals. If you introduce journal writing early in the year, demonstrate various journal entries to help children feel comfortable with their own writing attempts. (See "Writers write to share ideas.")
- Provide students blank versions of the illustration so that they can experiment with writing their own journal entries.
- Implement “We write in journals” (BB 20) as a practice journal page.
- Try “Writers write words and draw pictures in journals” (BB 21).
Choose from the following:
- As you do shared writings with the children, talk about the process you are involved in. Talk about letters, words, and sentences—when to leave spaces, use punctuation, and write capital letters.
- Involve children in making their own journals (monthly/seasonally) by decorating covers, adding their names, and stapling pages together.
- Help children discover sources of journal-writing ideas. They can write about activities in or out of school, how they feel, topics they know about or are learning about, characters in favorite books, their friends, words they want to try out, jokes, or wishes. Implement "My Journal Ideas" as the starting point, or first page, each time the children begin new journals.
- At regular intervals, read and respond to children’s journals.
- Periodically, share children’s journal entries as a “progress report” for parents.