Lesson Plan

Lesson in Journal Writing

Students will learn to identify and write journals

Students will be able to...

Identify elements of a piece of writing that constitute a journal such as  1.sequencing of time, 2. concepts of past, present and future 3. use of temporal words

To journal interactively with the teacher in response to a prompt.

Develop a journal entry in response to a prompt independently.


English Language Arts
reading comprehension
text analysis
using supporting evidence
writing clearly
Grades 2 – 3
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Reading


1. Activate prior knowledge with regard to sequencing of time-past, present & future- review concepts.

2. Have partners try to come up with a couple of words that they think might be temporal words.

3. Introduce and define the words "journal", "diary" and "entry"

4. Read aloud the book "Diary of a Worm" by Doreen Cronin

 5. Ask for students to add to the list of temporal words based on the words they heard used in the story to signal time and sequence.







Student Instructions


    After discussing past, present and future, we know that certain words let the reader know when an event or action is happening.

     We call those kinds of words temporal words. Can you identify some temporal words that you could use to help the reader know when things happened?  Discuss with your partner some words that you think might be temporal words and write them on your shared whiteboards.

     The story I am about to read is "The Diary of a Worm", is a journal because it is broken into entries that happen at different times. The author used temporal words. See if you can hear temporal words used.






2 Direct Instruction

Free, Paid

Have students go to their computers in pairs. They are to brainstorm all of the temporal words they can remember from the story and any others they think of and put them into the word cloud on abcya.com. Partners must agree on the addition of all words. Students should then print their word clouds as their resource for writing.

(Students should have been taught to use ABCya! t make word clouds already)


Student Instructions

     Go to your computer with your partner. Click on ABCya!

     Click on the gray background of the word cloud. You will see a large white board pop up.    

     On the white cloud, type your temporal words. When you are finished, click on the arrow in the bottom right corner.

     Look for a little filter icon in red at the top. Click on it to turn the filter off.

      Now choose your colors and layout and print your word cloud.                                                                                                   


3 Direction Instruction Part #2

Activity: Other — Comparing and analyzing

Using the digital projector, go onto http://www.funbrain.com/journal/Journal.html?ThisJournalDay=1&ThisPage=2

Have students read the page for Diary of a Wimpy Kid- Day 2, specifically, the entry for Wednesday, September 8th aloud. 

Lead discussion:                                                                        

*What makes the format of this book and The Diary of a Worm different from other books we have read?

*What did you notice  as we read the various entires?

*What do all the entries have in common?

*How are the entries different from each other?                                                                


4 Guided Practice

Activity: Creating


Using a prompt, work with students to write an interactive journal entry on chart paper. Have student discuss, evaluate and agree about entires being made as journal selection is being developed.

Encourage students to refer to their word clouds.

5 Independent Practice

Activity: Creating

Each student should be given a prompt as the catalyst for them to create their own journal entry. Write the sloppy copy on penmanship paper. Encourage them to use their word clouds for temporal words.

Student Instructions

    You are being given a journal prompt like the one we used when we wrote a journal entry together.                                  

      Now journal writers, begin writing the sloppy copy of your journal entry. Don't forget to use your word cloud for temporal words.                    

      Tomorrow we will illustrate your journal entry.  :)



6 Wrapup

Activity: Presenting

Ask for volunteers to read their journal entry.