Journal Sharing is Caring! So journal share. 🙂
For years, teachers have encouraged their students to journal because the act of daily writing encourages self-reflection and promotes better writing skills. However, when shared with friends or family members, journaling is also a great way for students to connect with the people around them.
Whether students share their journaling exercises with a friend or a parent, the act of mutual writing and shared reflection is a great way for kids to connect more deeply with the people in their lives.
Read on to learn about the top four benefits of shared journaling exercises. Oh, and check out the Journal Buddies list of 40 shared journaling prompts your students can use to journal share with their classmates and loved ones.
Four Fabulous Benefits of Journaling Sharing
1. Learn More About Others
Working with a partner on shared journaling prompts is a fantastic way to learn something new about the other person. A blank journal page gives the writer permission to truly let out his or her thoughts and emotions. Though it is important to make sure that journaling partners are comfortable sharing these thoughts with one another before they begin writing, the exercise is a good way for students to get to know one another. Even a pair of best friends who think they know one another like the back of their hands may be surprised by some of the new details or ideas that come out through journaling!
2. Get Feedback on Writing
Because many teachers use journaling as a way to teach better writing skills, working with a partner on shared journal prompts is a good way for students to get feedback on their work. Teach students how to give thoughtful, constructive feedback without being critical of the ideas or emotions that are shared. Encourage students to ask for more detail where the journal prompt is vague or unclear, and make sure your students know to tell one another which elements they particularly enjoyed of their partner’s work!
3. Feel More Comfortable with Sharing
Though some students might be a little uncomfortable sharing their writing at first, many kids will quickly learn to feel much better about sharing their work with another student or family member. Your students may be self-conscious about their work or thoughts when they haven’t had the chance to see anyone else’s writing—however, the opportunity to see what another student had to say will help kids find the similarities in their writing and their thought processes. In no time at all, many students will shed their doubts and feel more open in sharing their ideas.
4. Connect in New Ways
At the end of the day, journaling is still a very personal activity. Even when the student plans to share his or her work with a partner, opening up in that way requires trust and an understanding of confidentiality that binds the partners together. Your students will find new ways to connect with their partners as they begin to share deeper thoughts, feelings, and ideas than they may be used to discussing. Nurture this development by encouraging kids to continue pushing deeper in their writing and to ask one another questions about what they’ve shared.
Journal Sharing Prompts
With a Friend
1. When did you first know that we were destined to be great friends?
2. What is one thing that you wish other people understood about you?
3. What is the most important quality for a friend to have?
4. How do you handle conflict when you have a disagreement with a friend?
5. Write about your favorite quality about yourself.
6. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
7. What is your greatest goal in life?
8. What annoys you more than anything else?
9. What is the greatest feeling in the world?
10. Write about your ideal weekend. Be as detailed as possible. Where will you go? Who will you spend time with? What will you do? What will you eat?
With a Classmate
1. Write about something that your partner probably doesn’t know about you.
2. What is your favorite part of the school day? Your least favorite?
3. Write about your family. Who do you live with? Do you have any pets?
4. What is your favorite hobby or activity?
5. Write about a time when you were scared.
6. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
7. Where do you want to go to high school or college some day?
8. What do you like most about our school?
9. If you were the President of the United States, what law would you put into place?
10. If you were an animal, what kind would you be?
Until next time, write on…
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Shared Journal for Friends
Good relationships are vital to everyone’s lives. There are many ways that kids make new friends and keep good friendships, but one of the most unexpected ways that a child can develop a new friendship is by keeping a journal.
Keeping a journal that helps to build good relationships with new friends means a child might share their journal writings. A tween might journal share with her new friend and have her friends, in turn, participate in the process of keeping that journal.
This kind journaling defies the notion of what a journal is and a child might not want to share his or her most private thoughts in a shared journal. But when used well, shared journals can be an excellent way for kids to reaffirm their newest friendships and maintain good, healthy relationships in the process. Indeed, a child might have a private journal that is kept for her eyes only, and a journal that she chooses to share with her best friend(s).
Make New Friends with Journaling
There are several ways in which a shared journal can help a kid build good relationships and benefit their new friendship.
When kids share their journals with their friends, they can also share in the experiences they’ve had. For example, if your child goes to an amusement park with her best friend and they come back to your house for a sleepover, they might enjoy writing in a shared journal about that experience.
A week later, when your daughter shares a fun experience with another friend, she and that friend might like to sit down and journal about that shared experience together. Over time, not only will the friendships be strengthened by the journaling, but your child will also have a fun and special record of good times with good friends, in turn, building and strengthening her good relationships with them.
Sharing a journal with new friends (or old ones) in this way not only helps your child strengthen friendships, but also helps both parties improve writing skills, value the craft of journal keeping and enjoy each other’s company.
Say it without saying it
When a tween writes in a journal she will sometimes share what she wouldn’t say to somebody’s face, and often these are good things that she just isn’t comfortable saying outright to her friends. If a tween shares a journal with her friends, especially her newest ones, she might be surprised by the good things the friend has to say and the surprising ways this type of communication can improve relationships.
What’s so great about using journaling to improve relationships and friendships is that it is no different than exchanging notes in class or writing a text message to a friend and saying something nice. It is interesting that preteens aren’t likely to say these nice things to each other face-to-face, but are much more comfortable sharing them in writing.
In general, journaling can boost a young writer’s self-esteem. A preteen who keeps a regular journal has an outlet for sharing feelings and emotions and developing some connection with the world around her through the written word.
A tween with higher self-esteem will naturally be a better friend to the people around her and be better able to maintain good relationships that serve her best interests and healthy development today and for years to come.
Sharing a journal is a fun and unique way to for kids to bond with friends, to share the experiences that new friends want to remember and to help children become comfortable with who they are and the things they have done. A good relationship and solid friendships are the valued results of shared journal keeping.