Sunday, July 01, 2012

Favorite Journal Entries - and writing prompt ideas

One of my kids "must-do's" for each day this summer is writing in their summer journals. We have a list of writing prompts they can choose from (my list is below) or they can come up with their own topic if they want or just write about what is going on in their lives and in their heads. The kids love it when I sit by them and ask to read what they've been writing. I've learned a lot about how things look from their perspective and what's important to them by reading what they've written. 

I asked their permission to post an entry from each child's journal:

By Silas, age 7 - he's so excited for our upcoming Bear Lake reunion
I love what Oliver had to say about his twin, Silas. I love how he says Silas is
"helpful, loving, gentle and kind" and that "he wants to have fun witch is the best thing that
ever eggzisted in life and he nows how to have fun"

Eliza has written way more than anyone else - she's really into writing
and has captured some great stuff.
To me, our backyard needs tons of work and is a bit of an eyesore.
Glad to know it looks so great through her eyes.
Isaac loves his old and new bikes even more than I realized.
And I love how he spells neighbor - knabor.
And for the record, I'm a pretty decent mountain biker - I'm just not into the
crazy bumps and drop-offs that Jared and Isaac and Ashton love...
I love seeing that under that somewhat surly pre-teen, there's still the
very excited and fun-loving little boy we know and love.
Ashton was his dad's right-arm man designing and building that zipline (see it HERE).
I love that these journals are helping my kids capture important bits of their childhood and I love seeing them get better and better at sitting down and expressing themselves on paper every day. I don't bother them much about spelling or punctuation with their summer writing (as you can see from the examples above).Sometimes I'll point out a place where it's a bit hard for me to understand what they're trying to say because of messy handwriting or especially odd spelling or missing punctuation and they happily fix that. But mostly, I think it's great for them to just pour out their thoughts on paper and get excited about writing w/o the details of their writing being an issue.

Here are the writing prompts we have on a list for our kids to refer to (and my sister Shawni has some great ones for her kids as well - check them out in her post from today HERE

Writing Prompts

What is your favorite day you can remember? What were all the things that made it so great? Remember to use lots of adjectives (describing words)!

What is the worst day you can remember? What made it so bad? If you could go back, what could you do to make it a better day?

Describe your house. What rooms are in your house? What do you do in each room? What do you like about your house? What do you like about your backyard?

What is your bedroom like? What does it look like? What does it have in it? What do you like to do in there? What do you like best about your room? What would you like to change about your room?

Describe one member of your family. (Do every member of the family by the end of the summer!)

What is the favorite day you can remember? What were all the things that made it so great? Remember to use lots of adjectives (describing words)!

What are some great things about being a member of your family? What do you love to do with your family? How can you help your family be even better?

If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why would you choose that super power? What would you do with your super power? How would you stay humble even though you'd be so awesome?

Write about someone you feel sorry for. Is there anything you could do to help that person? Why or why not?

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why do you want to go there? How would you get there? What activities would you do there? What souvenirs would you want to bring back for your family and friends?

If you could have any pet in the world, what pet would you have? Why would you pick that pet? How would you take care of that pet? What issues might you have to resolve to make that pet work out OK?

Write everything you can remember about the grade and class you were in last year. Where did you sit in the classroom? Who did you sit by at lunch? Who did you play with at recess? What games did you play at recess? What were your favorite classroom activities? Why? What activities did you NOT like? Why? What was your teacher's name? What did you like about your teacher? What didn't you like about your teacher?

Who are your best friends? What do you like about each friend?

If you were the principal of your school, and your goal was to help every student be really successful and healthly and happy, what would you do to make your school better? What would you change about how the school looks and what materials are available in the school? What would you change about the things teachers teach and the way they teach them? What would you change about school lunch? What would you change about recess?

Imagine your perfect day. When would you wake up? What would you do? What would you eat? Where would you go? Who would you be with?

What are your talents and interests? What are you good at? What are you working on? What do you wish you were good at?

Write about someone you admire. Why do you think this person is great? What can they do that you'd like to do? What have they done that was a great example for others? How could you be more like this person?

What are some great things about being a member of your family? What do you love to do with your family? How can you help your family be even better?

(If you want all these prompts in a nice printable format as well as my list of 5-10 minute daily household tasks that the kids do and tons more ideas and printables to help make the rest of the summer wonderful, check this out: Summer Camp Kit)


charity said...

cute! you look super hot in that pic in the new header sar!

Laurie said...

I wonder if our ancestors were friends Saren. My grandpa founded Ogden. It was originally called Brownsville after my great grandfather Captain James Brown, another Utah settling pioneer. Fun that you took the kids to see that mine. Thanks for your summertime inspiration. The kids and I are writing journals too.


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