Journal Writing - An Introduction | Still Playing School

Journal Writing - An Introduction

Today we went apple picking to start off our apple unit!  We wrote about our trip in our journal.  This was our first time journal writing together.

I try to plan (at least) one outing for us each day.  We tell E what we are planning to do the next day as part of our bedtime routine.  We use magnets to put special events on our calendar.  Then when Daddy gets home, we review with him what we did that day highlighting special events.  Journal writing is a great way to solidify this.  We can plan and organize our thoughts about what we want to discuss.

E is 2 years, 9 months old.  This is her introduction to the concept that we can draw and write our ideas down.  For now, I am modeling the drawing and the writing with her by my side.  Discussion and thinking out loud are a huge part of this process.

Me:  "We went apple picking today.  What did we see?"
E: "Apples."
Me:  "Where were they growing?"
E: "In the trees."
Me:  "You're right!  Let's draw the trees!"
(I begin drawing.)
Me:  "The tree has a trunk, then leaves on the top with apples in it!  Apples are circles with little lines for stems."

I always think of Steve from Blue's Clues here.  He is a great example of thinking out loud as we model drawing for kids.

We continued our picture and discussion by drawing two trees and ourselves.  I labeled E with the letter E.  She asked me to write a D above me (for my first name).  Great idea!   Then she asked me to draw the cat we met at the orchard (who was named TBC - The Barn Cat - so lots of letters for labels in this picture) and "the farmer."

"Draw the cat right here by me."

We wrote a few simple sentences about our picture.
Me: "We went..."
E: " picking."
Me: "What letter did you tell me apple starts with?" (She brought this up in conversation as we were discussing apples.  No idea where she got it from, but yay!)
E: "A!"
Me: "Yes, so I will write an a for apple." (I point to the lowercase a.)

She helped me decide what else we should write. She chose to mention the cat, of course.  He made a really big impression on her.  I asked what color the cat was so we could add detail to our story.

When we were doing with the picture and sentences, E colored the drawing.

I am excited about how well journal writing held her attention.  I sure do enjoy it so I look forward to writing with her several times a week.  As the process changes and grows with her, I will update here.


  1. Absolutely perfect....enjoy you sharing your time with E with all of us.

  2. I am so glad you mentioned Steve instead of Joe! Sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun and E is learning a lot. Wish all preschools were as good as the one you've made :-)

  3. I can't begin to tell you how much i love this!!