Last year I was teaching 2/3 Reading and Writing and each time it was time to journal write I got the infamous.. "I don't know what to write!!!" I tried giving open ended prompts, allowing free choice, and even modeling till I was blue in the face. After having a student spend the entire journal time writing the lyrics to Baby Got Back ( with illustrations) I decided to pack in the journal writing for the year! Just never quite worked.
So this year, I decided to fight the bull head on, and get my students active in the journal writing process, and look forward to the journaling time. So how did I do this? Great question.... Junie B. Jones! She is my journal lifesaver! We have read a wide variety of her books and my first grade students LOVE them! After finishing our first one, we modeled how to write a journal entry. I spent about 4 day modeling this to them. We also discussed ideas of things they could talk about in their first grade journal. After that I cut the children loose to write and I was impressed! At this point in the year some of the students have moved away from this format, and chose to write their own topics in paragraph form, which is totally fine with me. But, for those students who was unsure how to answer a prompt, and create a journal entry this was the way to go!