Writing Activities to Introduce Your Class to the Power of Journaling
Journaling is one of the best exercises teachers can use to get their students interested in and engaged in writing. Though all types of written class assignments can help students to become better writers, journaling offers several unique benefits that research papers and reports simply cannot compete with. Students who write regular journals are often more in tune with their feelings, more comfortable expressing their opinions, and better able to form logical arguments and coherent thoughts. Use these five journal-related writing activities to introduce your class to the wondrous power journaling holds.
1. Journal Prompts
Many teachers encourage their students to keep daily journals that focus on what they’re learning or what they’ve been up to lately, but some students will always have an easier time writing when they are given a prompt. Journal prompts can focus on a wide range of topics and can be tailored to meet the interests of your students or current events happening around your school and community. Use journal prompts to get students who aren’t used to writing accustomed to regularly expressing their thoughts and ideas on paper.
2. Stories, Poems, and Songs
Though journal prompts are a great way to help students begin writing, some kids are looking for a greater challenge or a new source of inspiration. For students who aren’t interested in sitting down and writing about their thoughts on a particular subject, encourage them to instead keep a journal of short stories, poems, or songs. Alternative forms of writing present students with a brand new means of expressing their ideas and their creativity.
3. Gratitude Journals
Gratitude journals are another favorite creative writing activity for kids of all ages—and best of all, they’re extremely easy to begin. Simply ask your students to keep a daily record of all the things they feel grateful for. Whether they choose to write about the things they appreciate in sentence form or by keeping a brief, bullet-point list, a gratitude journal specifically encourages kids to reflect on their blessings and the many positive areas of their lives that they should be thankful to experience.
4. Community Journals
Another great way to get your class excited about the power of journaling is to put together a community journal. Set aside 15-30 minutes each day for your class to work on the community journal together. Record anything you like—from what you all learned together that day to funny things that happened to various students and teachers. Each Friday, go through the journal together and encourage students to share their favorite moments or reflections from the week.
5. Revisit Old Journal Entries
Once your students have been writing for a while, take a day to have them turn back to the beginning of their journals and read their old writing. Revisiting old journal entries allows students to see how far they’ve come—both in the quality of their writing, the types of subjects they explore, and how they’ve grown personally over the past few months. As they read their old writing, students will come to understand what a valuable purpose journals can serve in their lives.
Until next time, journal on…