Keeping a Journal

Contributor: Suzanne Riordan. Lesson ID: 13393

You don't like to write, you say? Here are some tips to help you get started. You love to write, you say? Here are some tips to help you love it even more! Start on your journal-writing adventure now!


Practical Life Skills, Writing

English / Language Arts
learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Beaver, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • Think journals are boring?

Watch as Life Hacks for Kids shows you how to jazz up your journal!

Easy Bullet Journal Hacks | LIFE HACKS FOR KIDS from Peacock Kids by DreamWorksTV:

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Of course, if you prefer having just a good old plain notebook, that's good too!

Your journal is yours; do whatever you want!

  • Why should you start a journal, and how is it done?
  • Is it just writing, writing, and more writing?

Let's find out!

What Is Journaling?

To put it simply, journaling is keeping a notebook that is all your own. It's just for your thoughts, your ideas, your emotions, your reflections, your wishes, and your dreams. It's a place for you to write.

But it's not just that. It's also a place to draw, design, decorate, and doodle.


Who Are Some Famous Journalers?

When Lewis and Clark went on their famous expedition across America, to explore the lands gained through the Louisiana Purchase, they kept journals.

In their journals, they wrote about everything they saw and did. They wrote about hunting adventures, encounters with Native Americas, their joys, sorrows, frustrations, and the funny things that happened along the way.

They kept records of the animals and plants they observed and even drew images of them. They also drew maps in their journals.

Take a look at several pages from William Clark's journals:

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Lewis and Clark were not the only famous people in history to keep journals. Many other scientists, artists, authors, inventors, and explorers kept journals as well.

Check out these 8 famous visionaries who kept a journal, by Michael d'Estries for From the Grapevine, and look at some sample journal pages.

Why Should You Journal?

These are just some of the reasons to start journaling:

  • You'll have a place to record your life, your feelings, and your thoughts of today giving you a record of your life to look back on in the future.
  • It will help you deal with your strong emotions. You can write out your fears, worries, and anger, and work through those feelings.
  • It will improve your writing ability! As with anything that you practice on a regular basis, you'll get better as you write more and more.
  • If you journal on a regular schedule (whether daily, every other day, or weekly), you'll build a healthy routine and develop self-discipline.
  • You'll learn more about yourself as you take the time to think about what to write or draw and how to express what you're thinking or feeling.
  • Everyone needs to be creative, and your journal will give you a place to be yourself and express yourself creatively!

How to Journal?

Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Get a notebook and pen or pencil. If a colorful notebook and bright gel pens will motivate you, get those! If not, any notebook and pen or pencil will do! (Don't use a computer or other device.)
  1. Pick a place where you'll feel comfortable journaling: your bedroom, your front porch, your backyard, or another favorite spot.
  1. Decide when you will journal. Having a set time helps you stick to a routine. Choose every morning, every evening, every Sunday afternoon, or whatever fits your schedule.
  1. Start writing, drawing, and doodling!
  1. Don't worry about what it will look like to others--it is all yours!

What Are Some Journal Topics?

Here are some topics you can write about!

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But don't forget, journals aren't just for writing. You can get out those drawing pencils, gel pens, colored tape, stickers, craft paper, or even paint, and get creative!

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Now that you know what a journal is, how to get started, and some topics to write about, head over to the Got It? page where you'll start planning two journal entries!

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