This is a four-page, fully editable, Word .docx document. It is an ongoing reader response journal assignment that I give my students when reading John Wyndham's novel, The Chrysalids. This writing assignment is used for each chapter of the novel. [BONUS: This assignment is *easily* adapted to any novel, and will still provide rich self-reflection and learning for students.]
Good readers... make connections, make predictions, and empathize with characters. This journal assignment will develop those skills in your students as they complete the journals while reading the novel in or out of class. Moreover, it will keep students held accountable to their reading, and allows you a spot-on way to determine if your students are reading and engaging with the novel.
Contains four full-content pages:
The FIRST PAGE explains the assignment and what makes a "good" reading journal entry.
The SECOND PAGE provides a detailed rubric as well as a bank of 66 vocabulary words (broken down by chapter) from the novel from which students must select and use (define and use in a sentence) when writing their journals.
The THIRD AND FOURTH pages provide student-exemplars of what makes a good reading journal. I have found this invaluable to show at the start of the novel study, as it sets students up for success and eliminates misunderstanding.
Reading journals, of course, encourage students to think more deeply about a novel, its characters and their actions. It is also a creative place for students to make connections to the novel from their own lives. Often students groan when I first give the assignment, but by the end of the novel study, it has become a fun way to respond to the text. Many end up eager to have me read and await with anticipation what comments I will add to their journals. In addition to making connections, students will also practice the art of making predictions, as well as developing empathy for characters.
I spent some time setting this assignment up, because it goes the length of the novel study unit. We usually write the first one or two journals in class. Students are provided the opportunity to share. Thereafter, the students will complete the journals at home or in class, when they are finished the other class work.
(This assignment can easily be adapted for any other novel study as well. Only the vocabulary words would have to be changed... or eliminated altogether.)