Personal Experience Journal Writing

One of the best places to find ideas for writing is in personal experiences. Things that happen to us, or things that we have learned of, can often spark an idea.

Discuss the importance of personal experience to one's writing. Explain to your students that it is likely that they have already had many experiences that could provide fine material for writing, but that they just have not uncovered them. Tell them that good ideas for writing are often hidden and tucked away in ordinary events. We have to search for them to bring them out.

A helpful plan is to take a personal inventory of their experiences. The following list of questions can help students identify possible topics for writing. Encourage students to answer the questions in their journals. They can write as much or as little about each question as they like.
  1. What am I interested in?
  2. What things do I especially like? What things do I dislike?
  3. What makes me different from other people?
  4. What do I like about myself? What do I dislike?
  5. What would I change about myself?
  6. What makes me feel good about myself?
  7. What do I care about most?
  8. What would I most like to know?
  9. What would I like to do?
  10. Where would I like to go?
  11. What exciting things have I done?
  12. Do I know any interesting people? Why are they interesting?
  13. What could I share with others?
  14. What would I like to change about the world?
  15. What are some things that have made me happy?
  16. What are some things that have made me sad?
  17. What are some things that have made me angry?
  18. What are some things that have made me afraid?
  19. What advice or insight could I share with others?

Excerpted from Writing Workshop Survival Kit.


If you need to teach it, we have it covered.

Start your free trial to gain instant access to thousands of teacher-approved worksheets, activities, and over 22,000 resources created by educational publishers and teachers.

Start Your Free Trial

Follow us on:

Follow TeacherVision on Facebook
Follow TeacherVision on Google Plus

Highlights

Memorial Day
Find a way to honor the American men and women who have sacrificed their lives in wars and military disputes this Memorial Day (May 30). Some of our most popular activities include: World War II Student Project, Chronology of Conscription in the U.S., and American Flag, Memorial Day Videos, and "In Flanders Fields" -- History and Poetry!

May Calendar of Events
May is full of events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Holocaust Remembrance Day (Sundown 5/4), Cinco de Mayo (5/5), Mother's Day (5/8), Transportation Week (May 15-21), Museum Day (5/18), and Memorial Day (5/30). Plus, celebrate Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month, Get Caught Reading Month, Inventors Month, National Family Month (May 8 - June 19), Physical Fitness & Sports Month all May long!

Videos
Interested in using different types of media in your classroom? We have a growing collection of videos, with related activities, for holidays and events, including: slavery & the Civil War, American History, U.S. Presidents, handwashing awareness, the Common Core, women's history, Memorial Day, the American Revolution, and the environment. Enjoy!

Coding & Computer Science
Introduce your students to basic coding and computer science! Our Top 5 Free Coding Tools for Kids, Top 5 Free Coding Tools for Teens, and Hour of Code resources make a great introduction to the computer science skills all students will benefit from.