Sunday, March 29, 2020

Journaling Through Coronavirus: Week 1

Week 1

Do you have your journals ready? Let’s start!

As a reminder, each week, we will do three activities: Capture/Collage, Create, and Communicate. (Just joining us? Start here for the big picture!)

I. In your journals this week, look for ways to Capture and Collage

Here are a few examples of things that made me giggle or maybe nod my head in agreement:

As you go through this week, look for things that speak to you: memes, news headlines, comic strips, a quote, song lyrics, a poem, a passage from the Bible, a paragraph from a book you are reading, photos. etc. Choose a few each week, and make a weekly collage page by printing, cutting, and pasting into your journal; writing out quotes; copying by drawing; or whatever method works for you. Share a photo in the comments at the end of the week!

II. Create

Do your own thing! Write a poem, make a diary entry (or one each day!), ask questions, make lists, paint a picture, draw a cartoon.

Need an idea? Here’s one of my favorite poem projects I use in my classes. The results are always distinctive, offering a window into each writer’s own, unique perspective. This is also super fun to do as a character poem, so instead of your child being the “I,” they choose a character from a book. For example, perhaps Harry Potter is the “I.” Remember, there are no right or wrong answers in writing poetry! As always, parents, please transcribe for your student of any age if he or she prefers to dictate to you while you get the words on paper for them.

I Am

I am (two characteristics)

I wonder (something you are actually curious about)

I hear (a real or imaginary sound)

I see (a real or imaginary sight)

I want (an actual desire)

I am (the first line of the poem repeated)

I pretend (something you pretend to do)

I feel (a feeling about something real or imaginary)

I touch (a real or imaginary touch)

I worry (something that really bothers you)

I cry (something that makes you sad)

I am (the first line of the poem repeated)

I understand (something you know is true)

I say (something you believe in)

I dream (something you actually dream about)

I try (something you make an effort to do)

I hope (something you actually hope for)

I am (the first line of the poem repeated)


I Am

I am hungry and restless

I wonder what’s in the refrigerator

I hear a train whistle

I see a woodpecker.

I want to go hiking.

I am hungry and restless.

I pretend I’m in the mountains.

I feel the wind gently blowing.

I touch tree bark.

I worry about my friends.

I cry when I get a splinter.

I am hungry and restless.

I understand being home is the best place to be.

I say this will pass soon.

I dream about face masks.

I try to stay optimistic.

I hope we all stay healthy.

I am hungry and restless.

That’s just an idea! Students may prefer to draw or press flowers or make a list of all the shows they have watched on TV or all the books they’ve ever read. Remember, parents: you do this, too! 

III. Communicate

Do this however you wish—in a short freewrite, written out in dialogue, as an actual story. Think of this as stream-of-consciousness thinking. Just write what comes to mind as a response without worrying about proper grammar, sentence structure, etc. (Feel free to send me prompt ideas, especially ones related to the coronavirus that might come up at your house!) Guidelines to freewriting are found here at Brave Writer.

Here are a couple of prompts. The first one is not related to the pandemic, as some of your kids might need a break from thinking about it! (You may need to adjust them for younger kids.)

Option 1: “I stepped outside, the whole world smelled like…" Start with that line—and keep writing!

Option 2: Airports, museums, malls, sports arenas, libraries, Disneyland, Times Square: in the past month or so, the world’s busiest places have become empty. If this weren’t such a strange concept, it could be an absolute dream come true! Imagine that you were free to spend a day or more in a place that is usually crowded. Where would you go, and what would you do? Would you visit a theme park without having to wait in lines? Would you go to a movie theatre and binge on blockbuster films and buttered popcorn all day, or stroll through the Louvre with a magnifying glass, examining masterpieces? Close your eyes and imagine yourself—solo or with your family—then freewrite about your day!

{One reminder, one more time: This is not the time to correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. Let’s let those things go, okay?}

That's it for Week 1! Remember: sharing is important! I encourage you to share some or all of your kids’ work. If they don’t want to share publicly, that’s okay! Just be sure to set aside time each week to share at home or send photos to grandparents, friends, etc. If you are a BHEA member, you can share either on the weekly Facebook thread or here on the blog, if you'd like. Others are welcome to share here in the comments or in whatever way works for you.


1 comment:

  1. My daughter and I love Option 2 of the writing prompts! We might just go “visit” Biltmore in our journals.


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