Keeping a reading response journal isn’t something that students only do when school is in session. Summer is the perfect time for students to read the books that they don’t necessarily have time for during the busy school year. Keeping a reading response journal will help students gain a thorough comprehension on the books they are reading this summer. Here’s how to keep a summer reading response journal at home.
What you’ll need to start a reading response journal
There are only a few supplies needed to start a reading response journal. You probably won’t even need to go to the store to get supplies. Everything you’ll need is very inexpensive and can probably be found around the house.
1. A notebook that can be used as your reading response journal
First you will need to find a notebook with lined pages. The notebook doesn’t have to be anything special, but if you want to decorate your journal and make it more personal then by all means, go for it!
2. Something to write in your journal with
A pen or a pencil can be used to write in your reading response journal. Your journal will not be graded by a teacher, so if you are writing in pen and need to make a correction you can cross it out and keep on writing. Writing in a journal is to help get ideas out of your head and onto the page, so why not use your favorite writing utensil?
3. A list of writing prompts for your reading response journal
In order to facilitate your responses you can choose from a list of prompts. Simply copy the prompt at the beginning of your journal entry and begin writing. Try writing about a different prompt every day so you get a more broad understanding of the book. Here are some reading response journal prompts that you can use.
4. Choose a daily time limit for writing in your reading journal
The focus of your summer reading is the reading aspect, not the writing aspect. You don’t need to spend hours writing in your response journal. Five to ten minutes is fine. Decide on the amount of time you will spend. Younger students may only need to spend five minutes a day, but older students may need a bit longer to write in their journal.
5. Write in your journal daily
When keeping a journal it is good to form a habit of writing on a daily basis. Every day after reading a portion of your book you should record the date in your journal along with the title of the book and the page numbers you read that day followed by the prompt and your written response.
Taking the time to reflect on what you are reading will help expand your overall reading comprehension. The important thing is that you are reading on a daily basis and writing about it before you move on to the next section of the book. So, this summer as you get started on your summer reading list don’t forget to spend a few moments each day to write in your reading response journal.