Value of a Read and Response Journal
Journaling as you read is the most effective way of understanding a work of
literature and strengthening understanding of the writing process at the same
time. With journaling you integrate reading and writing, and you will find that
you can relate to the story more completely, and experience every image,
every conversation, every character, and every interesting adventure. Avoid
hasty reading or skimming because it can prevent you from understanding the
meaning of the book as a whole. Investigate everything fully; be prepared to
learn and be inspired. Never skip a word you don’t know. Stop! Write it
down! Seek the meaning! If you do skip the meaning, you are leaving a great
treasure behind. Seek those characteristics that skilled writers observe in real
life and integrate them into your journals, essays, letters and reports:
perseverance, conflict, justice, injustice, challenge, courage, character, adversity,
and apprehension. Engaging writing includes exciting precise vocabulary,
captivating dialogue, well organized plot, varied complex sentences, and
grammatically refined prose with fresh original ideas. When you discover the
deeper meaning and relate it to the content, you'll be on your way to
understanding and loving books. Using great works of literature to examine,
and compare and contrast with your own writing, will build knowledge of how
to write great passages and prose yourself.
Writing about reading makes struggling students more secure and comfortable to
write with the support of the author’s vocabulary and paragraphs. Writing about
reading makes students more independent, competent, motivated, and involved
in all forms of academic text.
Writing about reading gives students ideas for their own texts. They reread
and reflect upon their writing, which sparks fuller learning.
Writing about reading supports students to take charge of their learning and
make connections between different areas of learning. Seeing teachers
and parents write in their own reading journals and sharing their writing
reinforces the vital importance of writing for life-long learning. It also
emphasizes the public nature of writing.
Journal coaching supports the students as they reach for more complexity
in their reading and writing.
Journal coaching supports the students as they acquire the vocabulary and
background knowledge to truly understand and enjoy the reading. Journal
coaching supports the lowest quartile students as they learn challenging
grade-level reading materials.
Journal coaching accelerates the student’s acquisition of vocabulary and
Journal coaching accelerates the student’s acquisition of the Six Traits of
Writing and the writing process