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Reading / Response Journals

KS2: Using a Reading Journal

  • A reading journal, sometimes known as a reading log provides the opportunity for children to reflect on their reading and play about with ideas that come from their reading.

  • Entries can take an infinite variety of forms: jottings, notes, ideas, diagrams, grids, charts, sketches, lists, mind maps, questions, predictions, diary entries, letters, playscnpts, poems, stories, as well as more formal writing such as reviews or pieces related to close analysis of character, plot, setting, authors choice of language and soon.                   

  • Journals can provide pupils with an opportunity to speculate, explore, play with ideas and be tentative and uncertain in their responses.

  • Journals can allow pupils, whatever their reading ability, not only to respond to texts, but to investigate how the author provoked that response.

  • Reading journals can involve different people: pupils only, pupils and teacher in dialogue, pupils, teacher and parents in a two or three-way written dialogue.

Reading / response journals
What Can I Write in
My Reading Journal?

  • Choose a descriptive passage and make a list of examples of vivid imagery eg: similes, metaphors, alliteration, personification, noun phrases etc

  • Write a description of the main character- their looks, the way they dress, the way they talk and their personality.

  • List the words and phrases used to create an atmosphere - eg: a scary or spooky one.

  • Write about what a character might be thinking or feeling at any stage of the story - you could write it in the first person.

  • When you are about half way through a book, predict what might happen. Explain why.

  • Write down some words you had difficulty reading and had not met before. Find their meanings in a dictionary and write them down.

  • Write about your favourite part of a book and why you liked it.

  • Write some questions you'd like to ask the author.

  • Write down 3 facts you have learned from a non-fiction book.

  • Pick a descriptive word from the text, write it down and, using a thesaurus, write down five synonyms and antonyms for that word.

  • Write about how a non-fiction book is set out.

  • Write some advice to a character in trouble.

  • Write a diary entry that a character might write after an incident in the story.

  • Challenge yourself! Write a fifty word summary of a whole plot!

  • Write a new blurb for the back-cover.

  • Write whether you would recommend the book or not, and why.

  • Write an alternative ending.