Support active reading in your classroom! Students who are thinking critically about the texts they read (considering prior knowledge, deciphering significant passages, summarizing ideas, asking questions, etc) are able to comprehend and retain more effectively. Help your students become more engaged readers by implementing reading journals!
This Double-Entry Response Journal worksheet resource is a two-page document featuring two columns per page; in the "Passage" column, students record the lines from the text that they wish to write about, and in the "Response" column, students write their observations, thoughts, reactions, questions, etc. about those lines. The first page introduces the concept of the Journal and offers sample question prompts students might want to think about before they respond to a passage from the text. The second page of the document is a blank table with the headings "Passage" and "Response" that teacher can photocopy/reprint for students to add more pages to their journals.
The format of this journal is very clear, including a helpful graphic that acts as a visual cue, and helps students to stay organized. It is not only an effective tool for keeping students focused while they are actually reading, the Journal is also a great resource for classroom discussions and for studying, as students can return to the journal and reference it when they need to.
The resource is also general enough that it can be used for any text, for many disciplines, and for many grade levels. On the first page, there is a spot for teacher to customize a sample entry for the Journal, related to the specific text the class will be reading. The teacher can assign specific passages that students should respond to, and/or the students can be asked to select key passages themselves.
I use this resource with high-school students each time we do a novel study, read a play, or poetry, etc., and I am very pleased with how it keeps students motivated to read. I also find it very helpful for informally accessing where students are interested, engaged, or confused with a text, helping me to be a more reflective teacher.