The teacher activates prior knowledge of the students by discussing whatever the theme of the book might be. e.g. The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle has many themes (manners, telling time, bullying, ladybugs/aphids) Write a few words on a chart, board, or large ladybug (ladybug, nice,
mean, manners, etc. Read the story to them. After reading, tell them they are going to draw a picture from the story. Who was the story about?
A ladybug. Model a drawing of a ladybug step by step. YOu can add a lead, aphid, the other ladybug or animal from the story if they want.
Color the picture. Help them write a sentence modeling on the chart paper or board. The ladybug
was grouchy (mean, nice). This is a beginning lesson for journaling therefore, you can help them by doing the same sentence. When they become
more skilled, let them sound out (temporary spelling) the word/words. Another option is to dictate to you when they first start out. They are not too young to participate in literature response journals. What is different at this age level is that you use a Read aloud format to introduce the concept and they are all responding to the same book. With practice they will become more independent and some will want to do a story they read at home with their parents. Let them.
When they complete their response, put their entry into the three-ring binder (make sure their name and date it on it) I made a form that has it already on it. This becomes part of their portfolio which will be taken home at the end of the year for them to keep. Ownership is an important component of this strategy. You can use it also to assess growth in handwriting conventions, grammar conventions, comprehension,
expression, and much more. They are very proud of their journal portfolios and want to share them with you all the time. During Open House or parent visitations, it's the first thing they want to show them. If you have any questions, contact me at my e-mail address. Have fun!!!