Reading Response Journals

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Reading Response Journals

Reading response journals are a place where students respond to literature by recording their thoughts, feelings, reactions, and questions about the book they are reading.

The content of student response journals can help you assess and develop their reading abilities and behaviors. Patterns of journal responses also help the teacher determine what guidance in instruction they need next.

Writing quality responses to literature also encourages higher order thinking skills.

When writing a reading response journal the student should consider the following:

A) Retells or summarizes the story

B) Connects own experiences in the story

C) States opinion and provides support

D) Interprets the author's meaning

E) Makes some predictions or hypotheses

F) Asks questions

G) Makes some personal reflections

Readers' Response

Things to Write About in Your Reading Journal

Your reading journal is a place for you to record your thoughts, reactions, feelings and questions about the book you are reading. The questions below may help to stimulate your thinking and help to show you some areas in which you may not have thought of writing about before. Don't try to answer everything, pick one or two areas you feel are important and write about them. Don't give a detailed plot summary; rather try to think and react with your feelings and mind to what you read.

Questions: What didn't you understand? Why do you think the author did something in a particular way? If you had been the author, would you have had anything different happen? How could you improve this book? Did you like the conclusion? What was special about the book? Do you have a favorite character or part or scene?

Quotations: Is there a part of the book you feel is an example of good writing? Why? Do you have a favorite saying or quote from the book?

Reactions: Write about your reactions to the book and why you feel this way. How do you feel about the book in general? Do you recommend others to read it? Why?

Experiences: Does the book remind you of anything in your own life? Write about these experiences. Do you know of other books that are like this one? How is it alike or different?

Evaluation: Are there things about the way the author did things in this book that you liked or disliked? How would you compare this book to others you have read by the same or different author?

Characters: Who were the main characters? Did you like them? Were they believable? Were they like anyone you know? Did they change in any way in the story? What kind of people are they? Is anything did right or wrong? What is your opinion of the characters?

Mood: How did you feel while reading this book? Why? What was the funniest/saddest incident? What was the most exciting/unusual or mysterious incident? What do you remember most about the story? Does the mood of the story change? how?

Author: Why do you think the author wrote the book? What is the author trying to tell us? Have you read other books by this author? Are you going to read other books by this author? Why?

Writing: What did you learn about writing from reading this book? Does the book give you any ideas for writing your own story?

Predictions: How do you think the book will end? Was your prediction similar to the resolution of the story? How were your predictions different? Why?

Readers' Response - Questions

A. What does the story make you think about?

B. What feelings do you experience?

C. What questions occur to you as you read or listen?

D. What predictions do you make?

E. What pictures occur in your head?

F. Does this book remind you of anything else?

G. How did the author get you to think?

H. How did the author get you to feel happy, scared, confused, excited, etc.

I. What did you really like about this book?

J. How do you feel about the characters in this book?

K. How did you feel after you finished reading your story compared to the earlier feelings you had as you were reading?

L. What aspects of the writer's craft especially appealed to you?

M. Quote the sentence or sentences that brought the book alive for you. Can you tell why it worked?

N. Who do you know who would like this book? Why?

O. In what ways can you identify with the main character?

P. What phrases, expressions, vocabulary or points of writing style did you learn from the author that you plan to use in your own writing?

Q. How much did you personally agree or disagree with he way the characters thought or acted or the kinds of beliefs or values they held?

R. Were there any real life issues that made you think? Discuss them.

S. How would you have revised the story to make it better?

Readers' Response - Making a Journal Entry

1. Start with a salutation (ie) Dear _______________, (Don't forget the comma.)

2. Write down the date when you start writing your entry. Write the date in the top right hand corner.

3. Always begin your entry by writing down the title of the book and underlining it. (ie) The book I am responding to is The Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter. (Don't forget the author's name.)

4. Write your entries in paragraph form. Begin sentences with capitals and end with proper punctuation. Remember to indent each paragraph.

5. One entry per page and each entry will go one after the other in chronological order (by date.)

6. Always keep all entries in your Readers' Response Journal.

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