Response Journal Guidelines for Students

Handout 2

Take time to write down anything in relation to the text. If certain statements intrigue you, or if you are attracted to characters or issues or problems, write your response. Try to take at least five minutes to write when you have finished an assignment or when you have put your book down for a break. You may want to write something that strikes you then. Make connections with your own experience. What does the reading make you think of? Does it remind you of anything or anyone? Make connections with other texts or concepts or events. Do you see any similarities between this text (concepts, events) and other texts (concepts, events)? Does it bring to mind other related issues? Ask yourself questions about the text: What perplexes you about a particular passage? Try beginning, “I wonder why…” or “I’m having trouble understanding how…,” or “It perplexes me that…,” or “I was surprised when….” Try agreeing with the writer. Write down the supporting ideas. Try arguing with the writer. On what points, or about what issues, do you disagree? Think of your journal as a place to carry on a dialogue with the writer or with the text in which you actually speak to him or her. Ask question; have the writer respond. What happens when you imagine yourself in his or her shoes? Write down striking words, images, phrases, or details. Speculate about them. Why did the author choose them? What do they add to the story? Why did you notice them? Divide your notebook page in half and copy words from the text onto the left side; write your responses on the right. On a first reading you might put checks in the margin where the passages intrigue you; on the second reading, choose the most interesting ideas and then write about them.
Across Five Aprils—A Novel Study C·R·E·A·T·E for Mississippi Copyright ©2002. All rights reserved. This document may be copied and distributed for nonprofit educational purposes only provided that credit is given to C·R·E·A·T·E for Mississippi.

Tim West and Debbie Hurt, CD1, Set 7

Describe the author’s point of view. How does the author’s attitude shape the way the write presents the material? Assume one of the following roles to write a response: Straight Talker Speak directly to a character and give your “two cents’ worth.” If you could stop the action at a particular point what would you say? Judge Evaluate an action or a decision by a character or characters. Do you feel a wise or a poor decision has been made? Why? What decision would you prefer to have been made? Why? Memory Keeper Perhaps you remember a similar experience from your own life, about a time when you kept a secret, and because of that secret, events began “to snowball.” Describe that experience: explain how it relates to the story. Artist What visual images come to mind as you read the story? Draw and color these images. Write also what your visual image means or represents in the story. Palm Reader What has occurred that you consider an example(s) of foreshadowing? What do you believe will occur in the future? Why?

Tim West and Debbie Hurt, CD1, Set 7 C·R·E·A·T·E for Mississippi Copyright ©2002. All rights reserved. This document may be copied and distributed for nonprofit educational purposes only provided that credit is given to C·R·E·A·T·E for Mississippi.

Across Five Aprils—A Novel Study

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.