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Why Writing about Reading Matters: A Teacher's Guide

Why Writing about Reading Matters: A Teacher's Guide

When kids write about what they read, they're showing what they think. It's a chance for them to share their ideas.

By looking at what students write after reading, we can see how well they understood the text. Writing helps them express and grow their thoughts, making them better at thinking about what they read.

Writing and drawing give kids a way to talk about what's in their heads and get better at thinking about a text. They can also tell others what they think about a book for different reasons.

When we show good examples of writing about reading, kids learn how to use writing to think more about what they read. We teach them specific things to do and understand when thinking about a text.

Talking about books as a whole class or in small groups helps students write on their own. Discussing reminds them of important things in the text and how the author writes.

Over time, students will learn different ways to write about what they read. It's like building a toolbox of skills for thinking about books.

Reading Journals Made Easy for F-6 Teachers: A Step-by-Step Guide


In Year F-6, we want our students to express their thoughts about what they're reading. We teach this through short lessons where the teacher shows how to write and draw in a special class Reading Journal. The aim is to give students examples they can use when they write about their reading in their own individual Reading Journal (exercise book, or scrap book).


Remember, these steps are not just one-time activities, but things we do regularly. 

  • Share the Journal Prompt:
  • Read Aloud:
    • Read a story to the class or read it again if needed.
  • Discuss Prompt as a Class:
    • Talk together about the question or task. Encourage students to share their thoughts with a partner.
  • Record Title and Author:
    • Write down the name of the book and who wrote it.
  • Model with Shared Writing:
    • Show how to write and draw in response to the prompt using shared writing. Practise good thinking and show them how it's done.
  • Independent Practice:
    • Students write or draw their own responses in their own Reading Journals. Stick the prompt in as a reminder (using the prompt stickers if provided)
    • Students regularly write responses to the prompts based on their own independent reading
  • Share Responses:
    • Let kids share what they wrote with a friend.


  • Students should try to write in their Reading Journals at least 2 times a week.


  • A year's worth of prompts covering different topics like reading records, stories, nonfiction, vocabulary, and more.
  • See 'prompt' and other resources below.


  • Selecting Prompts:
    • Pick prompts based on what you are teaching at the time.
    • Choose from different categories like stories, nonfiction, vocabulary, and more.

Incorporate into Unit Plans:

  • Add the prompts into your lesson plans.


  • For younger students, start with daily responses in the class journal (large teacher modelling book), then move to independent work.

Text Selection:

  • Choose books that match what you are teaching.
  • Use lists to help pick good books.

Regular Check-ins:

  • Sometimes change the prompts or how you use them.
  • Be flexible and don't worry if you don't cover every prompt.

By following these steps, we can help our students enjoy reading while getting better at thinking and writing about what they read.

Reading Journal Resources

Reading Journal Prompts on Teachific

Reading Journal Calendars or Logs on Teachific

Reading Journal Surveys on Teachific

Teachers Toolkit Podcast

 Teachific YouTube


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