Use Journal Writing to Make Writing a Daily Habit

picture of a girl writing in a journal

I’ve found the best way to make writing a daily habit is through journal writing. Use journals as a bell ringer activity and it quickly becomes an activity that students expect every day.

🐝 What are journals?

Journals are simply a place where students can keep a record of their thoughts and ideas. Students can write about a given topic or they can record their own ideas. Offering students a choice of topics helps all students have an idea to write about during journal writing time.

🐝 Should I use journal prompts with my students?

Teachers are mixed in their response to this question. Some believe that students should use their own ideas when journal writing, while other believe students need some direction. In creating opportunities for students to develop as writers, I believe a combination of both is important.

The solution is to give students a choice. Provide them with two options that include targeted questions and then a third choice option that lets students write about a topic of their choice. Target questions are included for this option as well. Visit Teaching With a Touch of Honey’s Facebook page for writing prompts every morning from Monday to Friday. The prompts posted each day are similar to this set of writing prompts. picture of a set of journal prompts for students with an image of a lemon and a bubble gum machine

Download Prompts #1 to #10 below. Prompts #1 to #200 are a part of the Writing Club. The prompts can be projected onto a white board, copied and put in a writing center, or printed 4 to a page and added to rings. 

🐝 Materials For This Blogpost

For this blogpost you need:

🐝 How to use Journal Writing in Your Classroom:

  1. Decide on a time when students will write in their journals each day. Choosing the same time every day helps establish your daily writing routine.
  2. Provide each student with a journal. Either purchase a journal for each student at the Dollar Store, add a journal cover to a notebook, or use the templates provided in the downloads section.
  3. Each day give students a choice of two journal prompts and have a third “own choice” option in case students have a topic they want to write about in their journals. I like journal prompts (like the ones in the downloads section) that provide questions for students in case they need help getting started.
  4. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for students to write in their journals.
  5. Make writing a habit by adding journals to your day plan each day.

✅ Action Step: 

Decide on a time of day to begin using journals with your students and make writing a daily habit for your students.

🐝 Daily Journal Writing is one of the many ideas found in 101 Writing Ideas.

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picture of a girl writing in a journal for a blogpost on how to use journals in the primary classroom
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