JOURNAL DIRECTIONS: Read the following prompts whenever you are asked to write a journal entry. Look for today's date to find the appropriate prompt. You do NOT have to write about the topic I suggest, but it may help if you are having a hard time coming up with ideas. Write for 20 minutes without stopping. Write your entry on a clean page of your notebook/journal. Give it a title/heading when you are finished and always date your entries. Remember, spelling and grammar are not strictly assessed; however, WRITING IS THINKING, and your goal is to become as fluent as possible in your writing, and get as much written as you can in the time allotted.

Journal Prompt #6 - 1/28/15 - Memories

Use one of the following prompts as a jumping off point for a 20 minute free write.

- One of my worst memories is...
- One of my best memories is...
- The best memory I have with my family is...
- Without my family I...
- If I were to run away...
- My family roots go back to...

Journal Prompt #5 - 12/7/12 - Money

Can money buy happiness?
Some people claim that happiness can be bought; a luxurious car, a lavish house, elegant furniture, the latest clothes...
But is it true? Do you think that money and happiness are related? Is it possible, for example, to be quite happy and extremely poor? Or, on the other hand, does a person have a much better chance of being happy having a few bucks in her purse and/or lots of money in the bank? (Is it possible to be unhappy if you're rich?)
Or is there some middle ground: an idea that money really helps as a factor -- maybe not the only factor -- in happiness?
Write about it.

Journal Prompt #4 - 9/28/12 - Betrayal

Have you ever been betrayed by a friend, in a large or small way?

Being betrayed by a friend can be a shocking thing, whether that betrayal had to do with love ("She stole my best friend or my boyfriend!") or situations less passionate ("You told the teacher!").

What happened? What did the betrayal feel like? Did it change your relationship, or did neither of you mention it, and life just went on? Or did talking about it -- confronting the friend in his or her betrayal -- make your friendship stronger?

And what about you? Have you ever betrayed a friend, knowingly or unknowingly?

Write about it.

Journal Prompt #2 - 9/11/13 - Friendship

What's a good friend? Some people say that a real friend is someone who tells you everything about himself or herself, someone to whom you tell everything yourself. Others disagree, and say that some things are private, and that it's not always important to share everything with friends -- even good friends.
What do you think? Is a good friend someone who supports you no matter what? Should a friend be similar to you -- dress the way you dress, like the same things you like -- or is it possible to have a good friend who's very unlike you?
What is your idea of what friendship is all about?
Write about it, and give some examples.

Initial THEME discussion:
Read the definition of theme closely, and brainstorm some possible themes for Legend. Try to come up with a list of at least two.

Theme: a universal idea about life; a key idea about being human that an author wants us to consider and remember long after reading the novel. They are usually repeated often. They are not stated explicitly but revealed through the characters thoughts and actions. Could sometimes be thought of as a life lesson. Themes can not be stated in one word; they are phrases or sentences.

examples: a few themes from The Outsiders would be:
  • Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor
  • The need to preserve childhood innocence for as long as possible
  • The importance of individuality and not just trying to belong to a group

Ask yourself, what big ideas about life does James Dashner, author of Maze Runner, want us to think about and consider while reading this book? Make a short list, of at least two ideas. Make sure they are phrases, not just one word answers.


Journal Prompt #8 - 5/14/12 - Choice Book Review - required*
What did you think of the book you chose to read for the readers' workshop, or last unit of the year? Was it what you expected or not? Did you enjoy reading it? Why or why not? Would you recommend it to other seventh graders? Why or why not? Did you enjoy reading at your own speed? Would you recommend I do that again with next year's students? Did the freedom to choose a book appeal to you, or would you rather I chose a book for you? Do you think it was at a relatively understandable reading level, or was it over your head at times? What is the lasting impression it gave you? What will you remember from this book?

Journal Prompt #7 - 2/21/12 - Love Defined
People write about love all the time, but they almost never define it.
Can love BE defined? Can a person say, "Well, love, of course, is _ and _, with a little of _ mixed in."
Would a simple "formula" like that satisfy you?
What is love, anyway? Can you describe it? What does it look like? What does it feel like? Smell like? Sound like?
Where does a person find it if she or he is looking for it? Is it in a certain place? Does it have certain habits or routines? If so, what are those? Is it hard to get? Easy to get? Do you need to be "qualified" to get it? Is there anyone who doesn't have it? Is there anyone who can't have it? Is there anyone who has too much of it?
Write about love.

Journal Prompt #6 - 1/23/12 - Music
How important is music in your life? Is music --whether instrumental or vocal, pop or rock, hip-hop or jazz, important to you?
Is music for you simply as it is for some people -- a kind of background noise -- or is it something more, something you feel deeply, something that helps give meaning to your daily life?
If music is important, how is it important, and why do you think it's important to you? Does it simply distract you, or does it stir something deeper? What kinds of music touch you, and what kinds leave you "cold"? Do you think you're open to listening to other kinds of music, or are you loyal to one type only?
Write about it.