In Journaling . . . with a twist I talked about how much our family enjoyed using journaling ideas for writing across the curriculum. Even though the journaling tips and examples would work for all ages, they are especially effective with younger children, even pre-readers.
Here’s a great idea for for a project that springboards from actual historical diaries—true living books written by men and women who lived and experienced the times.
Because of the more challenging vocabulary found in most old journals, this activity is probably better suited for your high-school aged students, though some junior highers with more advanced reading skills could do this as well.
Writing Diary Entries
- Historical journals, narratives, and diaries abound, both in books and online. Have your student read the actual narrative or journal of a person you’re learning about in history.
- Ask her to choose five key events or times in this person’s life.
- Then, in her own words, have her write five diary entries for those pivotal times or incidents.
- She must include the time and location for each entry.
- If the incident is a major historical event, she must show the role the person played.
- In addition, she needs to weave into her diary entry any background information that’s needed for context and understanding.
Below you’ll find some links to resources for online journals. As always, parent preview or supervision is recommended.
- The Diary Junction – Internet resource linking to hundreds of historical diaries. Search alphabetically or chronologically
- American Journeys: Eyewitness Accounts of Early American Exploration and Settlement – Columbus, Cartier, Sir Frances Drake, Lewis and Clark, many more
Copyright © 2008 by Kim Kautzer. All rights reserved.
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