Interested in getting your students to talk about their journal writing with another? Shared journaling is a personal, engaging, and educational opportunity for students to get to know others and to become more comfortable discussing their own ideas. This exercise promotes both discussion and reflection and is a great way for kids to connect on a deeper level.
Have your students work with a partner (we’ve prepared prompts for students to work with their friends, classmates, siblings, or parents). Each partner should spend some time writing an individual response to the journal prompt. Once both writers are finished, they should trade journals and read what the other one had to say. Then, ask them to discuss their responses and to share their thoughts with one another. You may even have them write a brief journal response on the experience when they are finished, answering questions like, “What did you learn?” “What was similar about your response and your partner’s response?” or “How did it feel to have someone else read your writing?”.
Use these shared journal prompts to get your students sharing their ideas with one another and to help them feel more comfortable with the idea of expressing their opinions openly. Shared reflection and writing is one of the best ways for students to learn more about others—and most importantly, to learn important new facts about themselves.
With a Friend
1. When did you first know that we were destined to be great friends?
2. What is one thing that you wish other people understood about you?
3. What is the most important quality for a friend to have?
4. How do you handle conflict when you have a disagreement with a friend?
5. Write about your favorite quality about yourself.
6. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
7. What is your greatest goal in life?
8. What annoys you more than anything else?
9. What is the greatest feeling in the world?
10. Write about your ideal weekend. Be as detailed as possible. Where will you go? Who will you spend time with? What will you do? What will you eat?
With a Classmate
1. Write about something that your partner probably doesn’t know about you.
2. What is your favorite part of the school day? Your least favorite?
3. Write about your family. Who do you live with? Do you have any pets?
4. What is your favorite hobby or activity?
5. Write about a time when you were scared.
6. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
7. Where do you want to go to high school or college some day?
8. What do you like most about our school?
9. If you were the President of the United States, what law would you put into place?
10. If you were an animal, what kind would you be?
With a Sibling
1. What is your favorite memory of our childhood?
2. What do you like best about our house?
3. If you had to trade a chore with me, which would you choose?
4. Where would you like to go for our next family vacation?
5. Which one member of our extended family would you like to get to know better?
6. What is your most beloved possession?
7. What is your favorite way to spend a day?
8. In what ways are we similar? How are we different?
9. Write about a time when something I did upset you. How did you feel?
10. What is one thing I could do to improve our relationship?
With a Parent
1. What is your greatest dream?
2. Write about one way our family could help someone less fortunate.
3. What is your favorite family activity?
4. What is unique about our family?
5. Who is your best friend?
6. What is your greatest fear?
7. Write about your clearest childhood memory.
8. How do you know when you’ve achieved one of your goals?
9. Write about your favorite family meal.
10. What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done?