Four reasons to use journaling to teach kids writing + 30 Kids Writing Journal Ideas for Students— When it comes to in-class activities, few assignments pack as much punch as journaling.
Here’s why: On its face, journaling seems pretty simple and straightforward. There aren’t many requirements to get started and it is easily accessible to everyone, everywhere.
However, when you unpack all the things kids can learn from this basic practice, it quickly becomes clear how truly valuable this tool really can be. And though we may be a little biased, we genuinely believe that journaling is the single best way to teach kids writing.
Whether you’re teaching young elementary school kids or an advanced level high school class, you can use journaling to help your students become better writers and more independent thinkers. Journaling offers kids the freedom to explore new ideas and to experiment with their own creativity. And most importantly, it can be easily adapted to best serve each student’s own needs.
Ready to learn more about the incredible benefits journaling can have for your students? Read on to learn exactly why we recommend that you use this terrific tool to teach kids writing—and then try out our 30 journal writing ideas to help your students get started!
Four Reasons to Use Journaling to Teach Kids Writing
1. Journaling Helps Students Get to Know Themselves Better
Though many school assignments ask students to memorize and summarize lessons from other people, journaling is unique because it places importance on what students themselves think.
When students write and reflect on their own lives, they learn more about who they are and what they believe—and most importantly, they also learn that their thoughts and ideas have true value.
In addition to serving as a powerful growth opportunity for students to shape their ideas, this also empowers kids to believe in themselves and to develop greater self-esteem. Isn’t it amazing what the simple act of teaching kids writing through journaling can do?
2. Journaling Reduces Stress
As students get older, life only gets more hectic—but fortunately, journaling is also a powerful stress-reliever!
Journaling aids with stress management in a couple of different ways:
- Daily writing time can be used as a meditative space to quietly and calmly take a break for reflection.
- Writing about one’s thoughts and feelings is an effective way to work through internal struggles and to let out stressful emotions.
No matter what age group you’re teaching, your students are likely facing all sorts of internal and external pressures to achieve and do better. Teach kids about writing’s meditative benefits to help them enjoy the stress relief journaling has to offer!
3. Journaling Teaches Effective Problem-Solving
Journaling is also a great way to improve problem-solving and critical thinking skills, particularly in elementary and middle school students. When kids spend more time writing and articulating their opinions, they become better at logically explaining and defending their own ideas.
Similarly, they may also become more adept at coming up with creative solutions to problems. Kids writing prompts often posit imaginative situations that ask students to dream a little about what life could be like in other scenarios.
For example, as a student imagines what their alter ego might be like, they are required to think about what traits define them as they are now—and what traits new, alternative versions of themselves might have instead.
Thought exercises like these are a great way to help students stretch the bounds of their creativity.
4. Journaling Improves Writing and Communication Skills
Finally, journaling can also have a major impact on a student’s writing and communication skills—after all, everyone knows that practice makes perfect!
When kids do writing activities each day, they get better at everything from vocabulary to sentence structure. They’ll also learn how to effectively argue a point and how important it is to use descriptive language to communicate precisely what you want to your reader.
To help your students get as much writing practice as possible, we recommend using kids writing prompts (like the helpful ones below!) in your classroom this year. These writing topics for kids are designed especially to give your students a variety of thought exercises and to help them enjoy all of the benefits of using journaling to teach kids writing!
30 Kids Writing Journal Ideas for Students
Below we’ve put together a list of thirty fresh new journal prompts. Enjoy!
- Would you rather eat ice cream or cake? Why?
- Write about a song that reminds you of something or someone special. Why did you choose that song?
- Imagine taking a trip on a hot air balloon. Where would you go?
- Write a poem about being a kid.
- What do you want to do when you grow up?
- How do you know when you can trust someone?
- What kinds of practices would help you learn better at school? How could they be implemented?
- What is your greatest dream?
- Would you rather go to the dentist or the doctor?
- Write about a time when you did something that surprised your parents.
- What is your greatest talent? Is it something you practice or do naturally?
- Write about a dream that you can remember clearly.
- Write a poem about feeling lonely.
- If you were a flower, what kind would you be?
- Are you an early bird or a night owl? Why do you prefer it?
- What does it mean to have faith?
- Would you rather go to the pool or the beach? What would you do there?
- Make up an alter ego for yourself. What is he or she like?
- What kinds of chores do you have at home? How often do you do them?
- What is the hardest part of school?
- Who is your hero? Why do you look up to him or her?
- Why do people see themselves differently than others see them?
- What is the best place to do your homework? How does the environment help you focus?
- Write a story about someone your age who lives during World War II.
- Write about a time when you asked someone to help you. How did he or she respond?
- Do you think you want to have kids someday? Why or why not?
- What is your greatest achievement? How did you accomplish it?
- Do your parents let you stay home alone? Why or why not?
- Do you think of yourself as a funny person? Why or why not?
- Choose five words that start with the first letter of your first name that also describe you—and explain why each one is relevant to your personality or identity.
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