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Writing Lesson Idea: Keeping a Journal


Writing regularly is important, but thinking of interesting topics for the student to write about can be very difficult. Likewise, having the student write often about his/her daily activities quickly becomes stale and monotonous. The following ideas will encourage your student to think and reflect as part of the writing process.

  • First determine the goal of journal writing:
    • Is it to correct writing errors?
    • Is it for the student to get comfortable with putting words on paper?
    • How often will the student write?
    • Will the tutor read the journal?
  • Teach your student how to organize and plan his/her writing: Try Activities #61 through 63 in Teaching Adults. After teaching all three activities, decide which one works best with your student’s learning style.
  • Here are some topic ideas:
    • What is your favorite time of year?
    • Describe a family member.
    • Compare your first impressions of working with a tutor to your expectations.
    • Describe your ride home.
    • Compare the personalities of two friends.
    • I was happiest when…
    • What is the most important thing you will ever do?
    • Write about an incident that illustrates (shyness, kindness, courage, selfishness).
    • Describe the best hour of the day.
    • Describe your holiday dinner table.
    • Describe the qualities of a good teacher, parent, friend, etc.
    • Describe a favorite toy you had as a child.
    • Describe the place where you feel (or have felt) most at home. What makes it a comfortable place for you?
    • Describe the perfect day. Make it a possible day, not a dream day.
    • Write a letter to yourself to be sealed now and opened and read by you in ten years. What will you want to remember then?
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