Why Use a Reader Response Journal?

Slice of Life2I am participating in #SOL19.  Thanks to twowritingteachers  blog team for sponsoring this event.

Use a reader response journal or literature log to lead readers into the literature before reading to:

Activate Prior Knowledge

Build Concepts

Make Predictions

Focus Attention

Arouse Interest


Possibilities for a Literature Notebook  include:



Persona journal entries that make connections with stories you have read

Titles of books to read

Lines that might become poems

Powerful leads



Observations about a character

Discussions with self

Authors to study

Interesting words



Notes from Reading mini-lessons

Lists such as character traits

Answers to questions


Connections with other books or authors

Quotations from authors, people, students

Author heart maps

Quickwrites off a scaffold, line, phrase, or word

Connections to other books or authors

Found Poetry

Opinions – rate the book

Can you add more possibilities to this list?

9 thoughts on “Why Use a Reader Response Journal?

    • Find an organization that works for you and your students that isn’t too demanding. It should be more about the responses and thinking than the organization of the responses. Every page should be dated. Start “Seeds” in the back of the notebook and “Responses” in front of the notebook. Eventually, the pages will meet somewhere in the middle and the student will begin a new notebook.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Reading response journals is something I have not been very successful with. I love this list, but I’m still a work in progress! I think keeping one myself would solve a lot of my issues!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Organization is always a challenge, but I love your suggestion to start with Responses in the front and Seeds in the back. Some of the lists you might want to create could just fit in along the way and using a table of contents would be very helpful to locate specific pages.

    Liked by 1 person

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