Dear Diary

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Language Arts, Reading, Reading Comprehension, Writing, Writing Process, Journaling

Grade 5- 8

Objective

Students write narrative accounts in the form of diary entries from a character's point of view. They engage the reader's interest and use sensory details and concrete language to develop plot and character.

Directions

Have students complete the following prewriting activities:
  • From a selected piece of literature, create a time line of scenes from beginning to end.
  • Complete a character sketch of the main character.
  • Analyze the main character's actions, speech, language, and personality. Find specific examples in the text which reveal these traits.
  • Free-write on the topic "What is usually written in a diary?"

Writing
Student will compose a series of diary entries from the point of view of their main characters. To brainstorm diary entry topics, have students pretend to be their characters as they write in their journals. Have them cluster, from the main character's point of view, the following words:
  • hope
  • friend
  • vacation
  • loneliness

Then, have them free-write from the main character's point of view responses to the following:
  • When I am alone, I like to . . . .
  • My favorite relative is . . . .
  • The most embarrassing moment I ever had was when . . . .

(Of course, if you think of different words to cluster or free-writing topics, use them!) You do not have to keep your responses related to the plot of the story, but you do need to be consistent with the character.
Publishing
  • Have students handwrite diary entries in the handwriting their characters might have.
  • Read one diary entry to the class. See if they can guess who you are!

Technology Connections
  • Have students word-process the diary entries. They can experiment with appropriate fonts.
  • Have students create covers for their diaries, using creative borders, fonts, clip art, and colors.

Resources

Reader Response Check Sheet (page 126)
Assessment Rubric (page 127)
paper
pencils and pens

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