Workshop: Easy-to-Introduce Journal Responses
For me, response
journals inform me about students' levels of comprehension, their
ability to connect books to their lives, and how well they can select
story details to support an idea. First, model how you set up a
journal page and go about responding to each suggestion; then, reserve
time for students to practice before moving them to independence.
Use prompts. Post these on chart paper. Prompts
should invite students to dig deeper into a book, stirring them
to make emotional connections, explore the significance of the theme
for them, and unearth students' feelings about characters.
the main character, list several problems he or she faces, and
explain how the problem was solved. If the problem wasn't solved,
explain why and tell how you might have solved it.
and evaluate two or three decisions the main character made.
- Select an
important quote from the story, explain how you connected to the
quote from the story, and show how the quote relates to a theme,
conflict, or character in the text.
- Choose a
minor character and show how he or she was important to the plot,
main character, or themes.
- Select three
key events and show how each provided insight into a character's
- List several
things that you value or that are important to you. List your
favorite character's values. Compare and contrast lists, pointing
out similarities and differences.
a scene or a character and use illustrations or words to help
others see your mental images.