Friday, March 8, 2013

New Journal Prompts

I am super excited about this new writing tool we got from my latest donorschoose grant (check out this post for info on donorschoose!)  As a part of our morning group, we write a journal together as a class.  (Some of my more advanced students write their journal on their own now!)  For awhile, I was just choosing a topic (i.e. bears or firefighters) and having students come up with any sentence related to that topic.  With this new tool, students take turns picking a "who," "what," and "where" card to guide us in our journal writing.  We are working on elaborating on a more specific topic.  Now, if we get "Bear" "Biking" and "Snow" we have a lot more details to add to our story.  We also have to come up with other sentences that are related to this same topic.

This is a picture of my journal on the board.  It is magnetic sentence strips that are dry erase.  I write the sentences on the board as students dictate.  

Then they copy the sentences into their journals and draw a related picture.  Some students may only copy 1 sentence, while others are expected to copy the whole thing.  You can get this FREE journal template at my TPT store.

 We use the "Who" "What" and "Where" cards to form our first sentences.  This is great for my students who like to leave out connecting words like "is" and "the."  So, the first student turns these cards into a sentence (i.e. "The bear is biking in the snow").  Then the next student has to say something about the same topic (i.e. "He is careful not to fall," "The bear is cold,"  "He goes to the park to build a snowman," etc.)  We are not quite to sequencing a story yet, but mostly sticking to topic.  For instance some of my students like to completely change the topic and say something like, "The Chicago Bears play football" or "I like to bike in gym class."  They use the same words, but completely change the topic.  I am hoping this helps them with their conversational skills as well.  So many of my students change topics like a flip of a switch!  Next up, I am going to use some simple sequencing pictures for kids to work on putting a story in order....then we will come back to this activity and work on putting together a cohesive story!

Check out this "Who, What, Where" activity at Lakeshore Learning's website.  Or create your own!  


  1. That looks awesome. And I like your journal page - simple but sweet. I really like the space to draw a picture.

    Brie - Breezy Special Ed

  2. Where are your Who, What, Where boxes from? I love this idea!