Journaling Activities to Build Your Students Writing, Reading Comprehension, and Critical Thinking Skills
Journaling is one of K-12 teachers favorite go-to activities. Why? Because journaling cannot only make students better writers, but it can also expand their higher-order and critical thinking skills, as well as boost their reading comprehensions skills. To reap the benefits of journaling, you first have to choose the right type of journaling activity for the student outcome you are trying to achieve. To make your job easier, in this piece, we will discuss the different types of journaling activities and the academic skills that they help build.
- Investigative Journals: A medium through which students record ideas about topics they want to investigate or about their ongoing research, and that promotes inquiry, reflection, and critical thinking. Students should be encouraged to begin their journal entries with “I wonder,” which can serve as the basis for peer discussions or conversations in writing.
- What is a Double-Entry Journal: A medium for informal writing having two columns for two different varieties of student responses to the text.
- Dialogue Journals: A conversation tool in which students communicate in writing on a variety of topics which may or may not be prompted. They are also known as interactive journals.
- Double Entry Journals: A teaching tool that helps teachers achieve various goals related to students’ educational activities, including monitoring their reading outside of class, promoting reflection, and providing a solid foundation for class discussion, conferencing, and peer interaction. Also known as Learning Logs, these journals are split in the middle wherein, on the left side, students summarize or record key ideas from a chapter they have read, and on the right side, they write reflections or questions about the information written on the left.
- Travelogues: An inquiry-based writing activity in which students record their virtual visits to countries wherein a novel they are reading is set, a language they are studying originates, or a historic event has occurred. Travelogues can be created in various formats including a travel journal, a PowerPoint presentation, or a video.
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